When Is It Ok to Break Confidentiality?

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When is it OK to Break Confidentiality? Confidentiality is central to trust between doctors, medical team and patients. Patients have a right to expect that information about them will be held in confidence. The birth of the Hippocratic Oath in the fourth century started the responsibility of physicians to preserve the privacy and confidentiality of their patients. One of the provisions of the Oath lays the ethical foundation for the physician’s duty of confidentiality even beyond the circumstances of medical care. The Florence Nightingale Pledge, which was composed in 1893, was a modification of the “Hippocratic Oath,” a statement of the ethics and principles of the nursing profession. Included in the pledge is to hold in confidence…show more content…
To keep the promise to Andrea was concerning because Andrea would need the consent from her parents for medical treatment for the cervical cancer because she was under age. Hathaway’s concern is that Andrea gets the medical care she needs. There also was the concern for Andrea’s classmates who should be screened for HPV or other sexual transmitted disease. As already stated, it is vital that healthcare workers keep their patents confidentiality, although there are those times when the healthcare team will come to the conclusion that they need to breach their patients confidentiality. According to the American Medical Association (AMA, 2013) and the ethical principles of fidelity, veracity and autonomy nurses or physicians should let the patient know about the restrictions of confidentiality protection and after disclosure have them sign a release record form to authorize the disclosure of the information given (AMA, 2013)). There are circumstances when keeping your patients confidentiality might cause more harm then revealing the information (Edwards, 2008). Such is the case in the ER episode where it was explained to Andrea why her parents and authorities had to know what was going on. There would be more harm done to patient and classmates if her secret was kept. Hathaway has the obligation to tell Andrea’s parents of her health condition and break confidentiality. Hathaway
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