Ethical Dilemma

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Running head: Ethical Dilemma

Ethical Dilemma

Amber Norris

Grand Canyon University

February 24th, 2013

Ethical Dilemma

All healthcare professionals take the Hippocratic Oath, in this oath it states that, “I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know.” (Miles, S. H. (2004) There are many different versions of this oath but the concept and meaning behind it remains unchanged. This section of the oath was designed in part to protect patient’s privacy. Building and establishing a relationship based on trust with our patients is essential in the foundation in providing good quality care. This allows our patients to feel comfortable discussing anything with us and knowing it will be kept confidential. In nursing ethics play a critical role, breaching confidentiality can have a magnitude of ethical consequences including legal issues and patients no longer trusting medical professionals. As healthcare professionals, we are faced with situations daily with an array of ethical, legal and professional responsibilities where we have to use our own personal judgments to protect both our patients but the public as well. “As a legal concept, confidentiality can be said to be an obligation on one person to uphold the privacy and security of another person’s information. This legal obligation arises in several areas: under common law; in contract law where these terms can be express terms or implied; and as a general legal duty where it could be considered negligent if harm results as a consequence of a breach of confidence.” (Cornock 2011). Confidentiality does not override ethical principles in all cases, and some cases it would be considered unethical to not break confidentiality when a legal requirement makes a breach mandatory.   “Nursing encompasses the prevention of illness, the alleviation of...
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