In this case study there are many pros and cons for and against Lisa’s new doctor disclosing the information to his patient that she is positive for HIV. The analysis on the tilt factor sheet shows that there are complex aspects of the harms and benefits in this case. Lisa has the right to know she is HIV positive; her boyfriend has the right to know he is exposed to HIV; and her parents have the right to confidentiality about their HIV status. The physician’s goal is to do what is in the best interest of the patient. In this case, Lisa should be informed of her HIV-positive status. After the medical interview, her physician should be able to assess whether she is a mature minor and intellectually able to understand the information presented to her.
Telling the truth is a major factor in this case and is not fully clear. This indicates the physician’s multiple moral responsibilities. He is responsible to the patient for her welfare; to her parents, who may be manifesting denial and grief; to society to contribute to the trust of the profession; and even to others, like Lisa’s boyfriend, who might be harmed by her ignorance. Prioritizing those responsibilities is a challenge though telling the truth should never be questioned because the ultimate goal of healthcare is to increase quality of life of the patient, regardless of age or gender. Telling the truth is clearly supported by US laws, policies, and previous court decisions like Prince v. Massachusetts in 1944. This allowed a hospital to administer a life-saving blood transfusion to a child over the objection of Jehovah’s Witness parents. In the article “Confidentiality and Truth Telling” by Laura Roberts and Allen Dyer, it is stated that “revealing only what is absolutely necessary in all interactions”. To me disclosing this severe of a disease is necessary to Lisa’s direct health.
Another important factor in this case is moral judgment and a physician’s... [continues]
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