In the nursing profession we have a respect for our patients but obtaining trust and maintaining the confidentiality of the patient’s information has been established from years ago starting with the Oath of Hippocratic. The patient’s confidentiality includes protecting any information the patient divulges to medical personal, and not disclosing or sharing the information to others. If trust is betrayed, the patient’s would not feel comfortable to share their privet and personal information.
Our profession is founded on trust and providing good care, and there are limited reasons in our profession to break our patient’s trust. A confidentiality breach brings up ethical implications and issues. A breach of confidentiality is disclosure of information to a third party without obtaining an informed consent or a court order. The disclosure of information can be electronically, telephone, fax information, written or orally shared.
If this type of disclosure of the patient’s information is shared to unauthorized persons, there are legal implications. The state and federal laws protect the patient’s rights, and in the medical field we have principles of morality, to do the right or correct thing for the patient. An understanding of implications to protect the patient pertains to dealing with morals in a proper conduct. The ethical principles that define nursing are autonomy, beneficence, confidentiality, fidelity, justice, nonmaleficence, and veracity.
These principles protect and promote the patient’s rights by promoting self-governing, ensuring the nurses act in a way that benefits the patient, respecting the patient’s personal information, and establishing faithfulness and keeping promises. As well as providing appropriate, fair, and equitable treatment, causing no harm, and telling the truth to the patients. These principles help define the role of nursing by establishing a framework in which shapes the various ethical principles. When these are followed, the patient feels respected.
There are times that trust or confidentiality can be broken, such as child abuse, reporting infectious diseases, and if a patient threatens bodily harm to their self or another person. Dilemmas that arise during care of a patient can be handled in different ways. The utilization of ethical decision making and ethical problem solving starts with one, defining the problem, two, identifying objectives to be achieved, three, listing alternatives for meeting objectives, four, evaluating each objective, and five, choosing the best alternative (Burkhardt & Nathaniel p. 8).
It is a cognitive process to approach ethical decision in which emotions are subordinate and relate to reason. If head and heart are together in harmony while the decision was made, the dilemma can be handled. However, emotional responses vary from person to person; hopefully one person can understand and realize the validity to another person’s views and feelings during a dilemma.