Examples Of Ethical Dilemmas In Health Care

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Ethical Dilemmas in the Healthcare Field Medical professionals are confronted with moral and ethical predicaments on a regular basis in the working environment. These internal conflicts can create a stressful work setting and can even hinder the organization as a whole. Ethical dilemmas are especially difficult to resolve because there is no single solution that is perfect and personal morals can have an affect on the outcome. Also, one solution might work for one physician but will not work for another physician. A significant number of the ethical dilemmas faced by health-care and other professionals involve respect for privacy or confidentiality. Specifically, physicians have trouble determining if it is appropriate to disclose patient …show more content…
This means that personal and medical information given to a health care provider can not be disclosed to others unless the patient has given specific permission for such release. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 put this standard into place and has specific guidelines patient privacy and disclosure of information (Flemming, 2003). There are also laws regarding patient confidentiality and privacy that vary from state to state. If a physician were to violate patient confidentiality, there would be many repercussions. While HIPAA and other federal and state laws often provide for fines and/or criminal sanctions in the case of confidentiality breaches, medical providers can also be sued under theories of general negligence or medical malpractice (Chappell, n.d.). In serious cases. Doctors can even lose their …show more content…
In reality there is no perfect way to solve these situations. In both of the cases described above, I would abide by the rules set in place by HIPAA and discuss with the patient the disclosure of their medical information. In the case of the BRCA1/2 mutation, Wylie Burke, MD, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Bioethics and Humanities at University of Washington says, “Every effort should be made first to encourage the patient to disclose risk to relatives” (Nelson, 2009). If the patient refuses to disclose the medical information, the physician should make sure the patient understands there are other ways a third party can find out certain medical information. For example, if a 14-year-old girl gets a pregnancy test done at the hospital and requests that the doctor withhold this information from her parents, the doctor can not say anything, but the parents will probably question why tests are being done (Diekema, n.d.). This often raises suspicion and the parents might find out anyway, even if the doctor doesn’t disclose this information. In any of the cases mentioned, I would not break confidentially unless the situation was very serious and my state laws allowed

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