Discussion: Foundations of Health Law and Ethics, Part 1
By: Eddie L. Copelin II
In this week discussion I have chosen to discuss the topic of HIV/AIDS and confidentiality. The most important ethical and legal concerns associated with the issue of HIV/AIDS and confidentiality is the negative stigma around HIV/AIDS in society overall. Interestingly enough in clinical practice it is unethical and illegal to disclose a persons HIV status; for example if a married couple are both patients at your healthcare facility and during a yearly check up one of the two out of the couple tested positive for HIV, it is unethical and illegal to share this information with his or her mate even if they are married, however on the contrary if that person has developed AIDS it is the physicians ethical and legal duty to inform people whom are at high risk of contracting the disease in this case the infected patients spouse. From this example one could see that the concerns of both ethical and legal guidelines may be confusing but the overall right of the patients confidentiality is that patients Fourth Amendment right to privacy, the concern is finding a balance between the rights of the patients and controlling the spread of this deadly disease (Pozgar, 2010).
In the issue of HIV/AIDS confidentiality a healthcare provider could use the ethical principle of nonmaleficence. Nonmaleficence is to do no harm to your patient (Pozgar, 2010) this includes mental and social health by violating or failing to protect a patient’s confidentiality is therefore doing harm to the patient. The social stigma of being sick overall is not welcomed and having a lethal virus that has no cure and can eventually kill is not well received by the general public and holds a negative stigma to the person who has the virus thus affecting the social and mental health of the patient which may ultimately lead to physical health problems of depression and or suicide.
The areas of law that is most likely...
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