Duty To Violate Confidentiality Case Study

The case “Duty to Violate Confidentiality?” portrays a very controversial matter. It is a conversation between two therapists, Dr. Tad Knowles and Dr. Susan Thomas. Dr. Knowles was disclosing his patient, Ben Therman’s information and stated that Therman has been his patient for five years and concluded that he is HIV positive. Munson states that “AIDS is the disease produced by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). People infected with HIV are diagnosed with AIDS when the number of CD4 cells of their immune system falls below two hundred cells per cubic millimeter. CD4 cells, also known as T cells, are specialized white blood cells that are crucial to the immune response. HIV destroys CD4 cells. The lower the cell count, the weaker the immune …show more content…
Some questions one might ask themselves regarding this case are: Is it ethical for Knowles and Thomas to discuss about their patients’ health information? Now that Dr. Thomas understands Therman’s health condition, is it part of her duty to disclose the information to her, even though Therman isn’t her patient? Does Dr. Knowles have a duty to keep his patient’s information confidential, even though it can promote the wellbeing of another individual? In my opinion, I believe that therapists do have the right to seek the opinions of other therapists, but only to some extent. As they discuss their opinions, the therapist should be keeping the patient’s personal information, like their name, private. Also the patient should be informed and sign a consent form that allows the therapist to disclose their health information to other health care providers. In this case, I believe that it is unethical for both Dr. Knowles and Thomas to discuss their patients’ health information because they aren’t following the protocol for HIPAA. The second question can be controversial. I believe that it is not Dr. Thomas’s duty to disclose Therman’s information to her patient, Margo. This is due to the fact that Therman is not her patient nor did he agree to disclose his information to her. I also …show more content…
The primary duty of a health care provider is to build a trustworthy relationship with their patients. This includes protecting the patient’s health information and concerns. In this case, confidentiality is breached due to both therapists, Dr. Knowles and Dr. Thomas, because of discussing their patients’ information without their consent. I believe that it is immoral for Therman to not take any precautions when he was engaging with Margo, since HIV is a big deal in the society. He should have taken responsibility and have told her beforehand. It would not be too late to tell her to get tested now. However, I also believe that the therapists should not intervene in their patients’ affairs— they need to respect their autonomies. It is unfortunate we still see cases like this up to this day— where people aren’t truthful in their relationships and are too embarrassed to say something. Everyone has their own opinions on what is moral and what isn’t, therefore what might seem immoral to me, might be ethical to

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