Applying Ethical Frameworks in Practice

In: Social Issues


Applying Ethical Frameworks in Practice
Grand Canyon University

Applying Ethical Frameworks in Practice

Implications of a breach of confidentiality

In the NBC’s ER: Betraying trust or providing good care? A14 year old girl Andrea came to trust the nurse that was caring for her and after being told that the information would be confidential, disclosed that she had been sexually active. When it became apparent that she had cervical cancer and needed treatment which required parental consent; Nurse Carol Hathaway faced a dilemma of remaining true to her promise and allow Andrea to possibly go untreated or break confidentiality and inform the parents.
The purpose of confidentiality between patient and medical care provider is to gain trust and provide the patient with privacy regarding their medical care and allow the patient assurance that personal matters will remain confidential. When private information is disclosed without the patient consent this is regarded as a breach of confidentiality and is morally, ethically and legally wrong. The implications are a lack of trust between the patient and the healthcare provider and the patient may not disclose vital information regarding their condition thereby may not receive adequate care.(Nathanson, 2000). There are exceptions which “require physicians to report certain infectious diseases to public health authorities to protect the health of the community” (Nathanson).
When approaching ethical decisions the nurse must be an advocate for the patient. Advocacy is an important function of nursing and is viewed as an essential component of nursing (Hanks, 2008, p. 469). Nurse Hathaway felt that in order for the patient to receive care the parents needed to be involved and proceeded to inform them. This may be an appropriate action so that the...

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