Bio Ethics Essay

1055 Words 5 Pages
Chelsea McKoy

Biomedical Ethics

First Paper

Confidentiality Case 1

In the patient confidentiality case of Carlos, a 21 year old Hispanic male is being discharged from his hospital stay for a gunshot wound. Carlos is intended to receive nursing care at home from his sister, Consuela. Carlos is secretly a homosexual and is concerned that his secret will be revealed and be disgraced by his family. Carlos pleaded with his physician not to inform his sister that he is HIV-positive. Not informing Consuela would seem to increase her risk of contracting HIV while attending to Carlos’ wounds. The ethical issue is whether Carlos’ physician is justified in breaching confidentiality on the grounds that he has the “duty to warn”
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117, 118).

Position 2

The second position Marcia Angell gives her commentary that it is wrong to ask Consuela nurse her HIV infected brother without the proper knowledge that he is HIV positive. Angell argues that Consuela should be neither deceived nor exploited by a health care system that is encouraging her to provide a service it would otherwise be responsible for. Angell further argues that the doctor should give Carlos the choice of telling his sister that he is HIV positive or forfeiting her nursing care.

Angell believes that the confidentiality should be honored when the secret is entirely personal and has no substantial impact on anyone else. The claim of confidentiality must be overridden when it poses a major threat to others in Carlos’ case Consuela is at risk nursing for her brother unaware that he is HIV positive. Angell debates that Consuela has the right to have information she might consider relevant to her decision to act as her brother’s nurse, and from the health care system’s obligation to warn of a possible risk to her health. Angell focuses on Consuela’s right to information whether there is risk involved for three reasons first; there is an element of deception in not informing Consuela that Carlos is HIV infected. Most people in her situation would want to know if their “patient” were HIV infected and would presume that they would be told if that were the case. Second,

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