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Privacy and confidentiality of patients Problem Solution Essay

Health care providers have the duty to make sure that the information they have about patients is held in confidence. Some criminal activity that a patient may be involved in is the trafficking and use of prohibited drugs. Upon the realization of such drug use, the heath worker is faced with the dilemma on whether or not to report such cases to relevant authorities.

If they do so, they will be infringing on the patient’s right to privacy and confidentiality. This paper is will look at ways in which health care workers can best deal with such situations. Discussion

There are cases where a medical worker is legally expected to breach the patient’s confidence by reporting criminal activities conducted by such patients. In other instances however, the health worker is not obliged to disclose any such information and in such a case, they can be successfully sued for not protecting patient’s privacy.

The practitioner has to consider whether he is legally bound or not (Pauls, LeBlanc, and Campbell, 2002).

Reporting of a patient’s criminal activity is encouraged where the actions of the patient are likely to injure another identifiable person. It is the duty of the physician to determine how much risk is placed on society by the patient’s criminal activities.

In case the risk to the community is high, then the physician should not protect the patient’s right to confidence and should give all necessary information to the authorities. If such a risk to community is low or if criminal activity is on property, the patient’s privacy should be protected.

In order to reconcile his obligation, the health care worker should have an open discussion with the patient prior to making any decision. He should take into account the position of the society as a whole as well as that of the individual patient (Pauls, LeBlanc, and Campbell, 2002).

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More One of the reasons why the health care providers should not always report crimes committed by their patients is to encourage individuals to have trust in hospitals and for them to be able to disclose important information when seeking medical attention.

In case the physician suspects that his patient is a sexual offender, he should first carry out some investigation to determine whether a person has been offended before reporting the patient (Tony, Sally, Charles, 2003).

Another consideration that the health care provider should have in mind before reporting any criminal activity is whether or not the affected persons are in need of the type of criminal protection that is generally provided.

If not, then the patient’s privacy and confidentiality should be maintained. There would be no point in infringing on a patient’s privacy in the affected person does not stand to gain (Brown, 2010).

Conclusion Where there are no set rules on whether to report or not to report criminal activities, the physician should be guided by both the ethical principles as well as what he feels is morally right and has a greater benefit. In case a criminal activity is carried out by a patient and a third party wishes to report it, then the health care provider should not report should instead maintain confidentiality.

The physician may also arrange for the patient to receive help such as counseling in order to prevent the criminal activities from continuing without necessarily infringing on the patient’s privacy. This should however be done after the patient has given an informed consent and is comfortable with the idea.

Reference List Brown, B (2010). Protecting the Confidentiality of Medical Records in an Interconnected Environment. Journal of Health Care Compliance; Nov/Dec2010, Vol. 12 Issue 6, p35-38, 4p. Web.

We will write a custom Essay on Privacy and confidentiality of patients specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Pauls, M., LeBlanc, C., and Campbell, S (2002). Ethics in the trenches: preparing for ethical challenges in the emergency department. Can J Emerg Med 2002; 4(1):45-8. Web.

Tony, H., Sally. F., Charles, F (2003). Turning a blind eye to crime: health professionals and the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Web.

Ethical issues in heath care Essay

Nursing Assignment Help Introduction Health care is a very important aspect of society as a whole and the actions of those in charge are very critical as they affect many people’s lives either directly or indirectly. This is why the issue of ethics is important when it comes to health care both to individual health care organizations as well as medical research.

This paper is going to take a detailed look at two ethical dilemmas in health care, the competing interests as well as the applicable theories and principles. Discussion

One of the ethical issues that health care providers face is with regards to marketing. Many health care facilities are created not only to care for patients but to also make profits.

Like any other profit making entity, the health care providers need to have in place strategies that increase their customer base. One of the ways of doing this is through advertising. However, as they do this, they should ensure that they are in a position to provide the advertised health services.

In this industry, there should be no form of exaggeration in terms of what the providers can provide (Ruger, 2008). The other ethical dilemma that the health care givers face is with regards to informed consent by patients. This means that any patient has the right to be fully informed of the medication to be administered.

Such information should include the effects and benefits both long term and short term of the medication. In some cases, the patients are not in a stable state of mind to make informed consent. In such a case, the practitioner should not be tempted to make decisions on behalf of the patient but should instead consult another party who is close to the patient (Gauhier, 2009).

While conducting their duties, health care providers are in most cases faced with some conflict of interests which should be avoided as much as possible. One of the conflicts of interest is when treating a family member. Treatment of people who are either relatives or friends of the physician might put the physician in a tricky situation. Such a doctor should ensure he does not compromise on the quality of medication (Pope, et al 1987).

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More Where a doctor gets paid for referring patients for medical tests, they may be tempted to even refer those patients who do not require the tests in order to increase income. There can also be competing interests where a doctor has a sexual relationship with a patient. It is for this reason that in certain medical fields, such relationships are prohibited (Gauhier, 2009).

Related to the above stared conflict of interests, there are some ethical theories such as the deontological theory. This is where the actions of the physician are guided by the set moral rules and regulations that he holds. The rights ethical theory on the other hand is a theory that gives more emphasis on the rules that have been set by society.

For instance, if society has stated that the patient should make informed consent, then the physician can use this theory to avoid a conflict of interest (Ruger, 2008). The principle of beneficence and that of respect for autonomy are some that can guide a physician when dealing with an ethical issue in the cause of his duties.

While the principle of beneficence guides physicians to do what is good the principle of respect for autonomy emphasizes on the patient being given an opportunity to make personal decisions without any interference by the physician The health care provider should only give professional advice to the patient without coercing them to make certain decisions (Ruger, 2008).

Conclusion Given the delicacy and importance of health care, the providers of health care services should be very careful in conducting their duties. They should use ethical principles to guide them when dealing with ethical issues. Where such ethical issues cannot be completely avoided, then they should at least be minimized.

References Gauhier, J. (2009). Counseling Psychology Quarterly. Ethical principles and human rights: building a better world globally. 22 (1). Web.

Pope. S, Tabachnick, G. Keith-Spiegel, Patricia (1987). American Psychologist. Ethics of practice: The beliefs and behaviors of psychologists as therapists. 42(11). Web.

We will write a custom Essay on Ethical issues in heath care specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Ruger, J. (2008). American Journal of Public Health. Ethics in American health: ethical approaches to health policy.98-90. Web.

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