Ethical Implications in Practice
The embodiment of Nursing is caring and compassion, the prevention of illness, lessening any discomforts and the protection, betterment and reclamation of health. Ethics has been an essential part of the framework of the healthcare provider and it is idiosyncratic, self reflective and abiding. Another essential part is confidentiality, for the healthcare provider and patient this helps gain trust and open communication, ensuring that the best possible care can be given. For many years now, dating back to 1893 the Nightingale pledge has been a guide for nurses, “ I will do all in my power to elevate the standard of my profession and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my profession” (ANA, 2013). In this paper this writer will address the ethical ramifications of a breach of confidentiality, provide insight on the ethical theory from “Betraying Trust or Providing Good Care” from the reading and how to address the dilemma along with how an ethics committee might approach the situation. In ones professional journey, a nurse may encounter-varying types of patients and diverse family structures all bringing forth new and sometimes conflicting situations. One area that the medical profession takes very seriously is patient confidentiality. Confidentiality is a fundamental part of professional tradition that protects human rights. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (2012) reflects that people have a right to expect that information given to a nurse or midwife is only used for the purpose for which if was given and will not be disclosed without permission. Implications of breach of confidentiality can have a compelling impact on the nurse/patient relationship and construct an ethical dilemma. By disclosing patient health information problems may arise on a multitude of levels: personal, legal, and professional. This generally occur...
References: ANA (2013). Florence Nightingale Pledge, American Nurses Association (ANA). Retrieved from http://nursingworld.org/FunctionalMenuCategories/AboutANA/WhereWeComeFrom/FlorenceNightingalePledge.aspx
Cline, A. (2013). Deontology and Ethics: What is Deontology, Deontological Ethics? About.com Guide. Retrieved from http://atheism.about.com/od/ethicalsystems/a/Deontological.htm
Defining utilitarianism (n.d.). Differing definitions. Retrieved from http://www.utilitarian.org/definitions.html
Nathanson, P. (2000). Betraying Trust or Providing Good Care? When is it okay to break confidentiality? The American Journal of Bioethics. Retrieved from http://web.archive.org/web/20110706061843/http://www.bioethics.net/articles.php?viewCat=7&articleId=133
NMC (2012). Confidentiality, Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC). Retrieved from http://www.nmc-uk.org/Nurses-and-midwives/Advice-by-topic/A/Advice/Confidentiality/
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