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Running head: ETHICAL FRAMEWORKS IN PRACTICE

Applying Ethical Frameworks in Practice
Grand Canyon University
NRS 437 V
May 9, 2012

Applying Ethical Frameworks in Practice Patient confidentiality is part of the Nursing Code of Ethics and it is a nurses’ duty to uphold confidentiality of patient information (American Nurses Association, 2012). However, there are certain situations in which a confidentiality breach is acceptable, such as when a patient voices harm to themselves or others and certain sexually transmitted diseases STDs). The following is a breakdown of the ethical implications of a breach of confidentiality, the ethical theory, the alternatives to breaching confidentiality using the framework of ethical decision making and the role of the ethics committees.
Ethical Implications of a Breach of Confidentiality A confidentiality breach is when patient information is disclosed to a party that is not a direct part of the patients’ healthcare team without obtaining the appropriate patient consent (American Medical Association, 2012). It is important for the nurse to maintain confidentiality to gain the patients trust, except in situations that are required by law to be reported. When confidentiality is breached many ethical implications arise. Some of these implications are losing a patients’ trust and disclosing information to parties that is not required by law, which could cause harm to the patient. In the article “Bioethics on NBC’s ER: Betraying Trust or Providing Good Care? When is it OK to Break Confidentiality?” the nurse did the right thing by breaking patient confidentiality in revealing to the parents that their minor child had cervical cancer. This breach in confidentiality was warranted by the fact the parents needed to know to ensure medical care was provided to the child. However, the nurse revealing the information to the school was not warranted as it had no benefit to the child, and could lead to



References: American Nurses Association (2012). Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements. Nursing World. Retrieved May 9, 2012, from, http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/EthicsStandards/CodeofEthicsforNurses/Code-of-Ethics.pdf Grand Canyon University (2012). Ethical decision making lecture 3. Retrieved May 9, 2012, from, http://angel05.gcu.edu/section/default.asp?id=1235855 Pearlman, R.A. (2010). Ethics committees and ethics consultation. University of Washington School of Medicine. Retrieved May 8, 2012, from, http://depts.washington.edu/bioethx/topics/ethics.html Purtilo, R. & Doherty, R. (2011). Ethical dimensions in the health professions (5th ed.). Retrieved April 25, 2012, from, http://pageburstls.elsevier.com/books/978-1-4377-0896-7/outline/Root

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