Applying Ethical Frameworks in Practice

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Applying Ethical Frameworks in Practice
Grand Canyon University
Ethical Decision Making in Health Care
April 14, 2013

Applying Ethical Frameworks in Practice
As a nurse it is common knowledge that patient confidentiality is of up most importance. We learn this in nursing school as it is part of the Nursing Code of Ethics and it is a nurse’s duty to keep patient information confidential. (American Nurses Association, 2012). There are however, extenuating circumstances that may require and be appropriate for a nurse to break this rule. As a matter of fact, the nurse could be held responsible if harm came to the patient because she did not speak out. If a patient presents to the ER because he needs stitches in his wrist and tells the nurse that he wants to or was attempting suicide the nurse has a duty to report this and find help for the patient, or possibly the spread of sexually transmitted diseases that are required by law to report. This paper will provide an overview of ethical implications of a breach of confidentiality, an ethical theory, and alternatives to breaching confidentiality using the framework of ethical decision making and the use and role of an ethics committee. Nurses are entrusted with very private information from patients and along with this the patient expects and the law requires this to be kept confidential The patient gives this information assuming and trusting that the information will be kept private and only used for medical treatment. A breach of confidentiality comes in when the patients’ information has been disclosed to a third party that is not directly involved in the patients care or given without appropriate consent from the patient. (American Medical Association, 2013). Confidentiality should always be maintained except in cases that the law requires reporting or where more harm may come to the patient by respecting this commitment. Some ethical...