Patient Confidentiality Must be Protected

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We all have gone to our doctors and nurses for an appointment and we all have to trust that them with our information. We have to trust that they respect our right to having patient confidentiality. Patient confidentiality is when a person’s personal and medical information is given to a health care provider, that information will not be disclosed to others unless they are given permission from the owner. With that being said, should the confidentiality of a 13 year old girl be broken because she’s younger and her mother ask for it.

According to the AAFP organization, it states that “A confidential relationship between physician and patient is essential for the free flow of information necessary for sound medical care. Only in a very setting of trust will a patient share the non-public feelings and private history that modify the doctor to understand absolutely, to diagnose logically, and to treat properly. The yank Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) supports full access by physicians to all or any electronic health data among the context of the medical home.”

I believe that patient’s confidentiality should be protected. In the past, the privileged nature of communications between physician and patient has been a safeguard for the patient’s personal privacy and constitutional rights. Data sharing is a lot of work, significantly across state lines given differing state patient privacy/confidentiality necessities. The AAFP believes that state and federal legislators and jurists ought to request a bigger degree of standardization by recognizing the subsequent principles relating to the privacy of medical information:

  • Access to privacy is personal and elementary.
  • Medical data maintained by physicians is privileged and will stay confidential.
  • The patient ought to have a right of access to his/her medical records and be allowed to supply distinctive extra comments or corrections. The right of access is not absolute. For example, in some cases wherever full and direct speech act to the patient would possibly hurt the patient's mental and/or physical well-being, access is also extended to his/her elected representative, preferably a physician.
  • The privacy of adolescent minors ought to be revered. Parents mustn't, in some circumstances, have unrestricted access to the adolescent’s medical records. Confidentiality should be maintained significantly in areas wherever the adolescent has the right to grant consent.

An example of this ethical dilemma of patient confidentiality is that if a health professional like a nurse has a patient who is diagnosed with HIV and knows that the person is in a relationship with someone who doesn’t have HIV, Do they have the right to have the “duty to warn”? Even if the patient’s confidentiality will be broken. Honestly the nurse has no right to go ahead and tell the significant other of the patient anything even if they think it’s their duty. It’s understood that the patient might be putting their significant other at risk. The patient can tell their significant other anytime they feel like they are ready. According to the Perspective in Clinical Research website it states that “Information of a patient should be released to others only with the patient's permission or allowed by law. When a patient is unable to do so because of age, mental incapacity the decisions about information sharing should be made by the legal representative or legal guardian of the patient. Information shared as a result of clinical interaction is considered confidential and must be protected.” With that being said, no matter what the duty of waring is the nurse lawfully has no right to tell the significant other anything.

Another example of the ethical dilemma of patient confidentiality is security breaches. There security issues breaks patient privacy once confidential health data are formed on the market to other people while not the patient’s conformation was not given. There was another two recent incidents at Howard University Hospital According to Washington it showed that inadequate knowledge security will have an effect on an oversized range of individuals. On May 14, 2013, federal prosecutors charged one of the nurse in the hospital's medical technicians with violating the insurance movability and responsibility Act (HIPAA). In the article it states that “Prosecutors said that over a 17-month period, Laurie Napper used her position at the hospital as a way to gain access to the patients' names, addresses and Medicare numbers in order to sell their information for money”. There was a plea hearing for what she did on June 12, 2013 in which she was found guilty and sentenced for 6 months and fined a total of $2,100. A few week later the hospital let every single one of the patient’s whose information was sold what had happen and ways for them to fix. 

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Patient Confidentiality Must Be Protected. (2022, Sep 02). Retrieved November 30, 2023 , from

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