Shippensburg University Ethical Issue Patient Confidentiality Discussion

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Shippensburg University


The scenario you will read is not uncommon and it underscores the dilemma faced in the workplace when emotions and values collide with confidentiality protocols established in the workplace. 

You are hired by TGH to produce adhoc reports.  This requires matching an existing file of patient visits with patient master records.  In reviewing the data, a name stands out on the report and you quickly realize it is someone you know -- your best  friend's father.  The son and father relationship has been strained and neither has spoken to each other in almost a year.     Your friend has no clue his father is dying and now you have the report in your hands that confirms this  grim reality.   What do you do?

You know the consequences of violating the company's patient confidentiality policy but this is your best friend's father! Should you tell your friend?  Should you ignore it?   When does your loyalty to your friend take precedence over your employer's strict patient confidentiality policy?  How would you handle the conflict? 

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Explanation & Answer

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Confidentiality vs loyalty
Confidentiality is one of the crucial code of ethics nurses are expected to maintain during their
work. Simply, it means that they should maintain the privacy of their patients where sharing
personal information without the consent o...

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