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Bioethics and Anthology (Research Paper Sample)

please use the fellowing text book: BIOETHICS AN ANTHOLOGY Second Edition Edited by Helga Kuhse And Peter Singer source..
Bioethics and Anthology
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Patient Confidentiality
Among the most crucial expectations in medicine is patient confidentiality. Safeguarding the privacy of an individual is not just a matter of moral obligation but it is paramount to building not only the bond but also trust between a medical practitioner, the patient and the public (Khuse and Singer,2006). Though it is considered as a core element in medicine, medical practitioners occasionally encounter challenges in keeping all types of information between them and their patients.
The Hippocratic Oath is an oath normally taken by practitioners in considering all ethical aspects in the profession. In the case of Tarasoff v. Regents, the Supreme Court in California held that mental health practitioners were mandated to protecting the public (more especially those threatened by the patient) from being harmed by mental patients. In this decision, the professionals were allowed to warn the individuals who had been threatened by the patient. Further, the court held that those professionals were dutiful in taking all the steps that are necessary including notifying the police on the threats of the patient. The majority opinion in the Supreme Court read as follows. “The policy of safeguarding the patient-medical practitioner confidentiality must be subject to its essentiality of averting danger to other people. The privilege of confidentiality stops when there is looming danger to another individual”. It would be indeed unethical for medical practitioners to do nothing in the case where they acquire information that points that a certain individual is in danger (Bloomberg Law, 1976).
Under the medical profession, confidentiality cannot be a matter of life and death. There are some instances where the risk in keeping confidentiality is deemed greater than disclosing that information to the concerned parties. In such a case, there should be an exception for confidentiality. In this kind of situation, the practitioner should ponder whether, lack of disclosing the information would put a particular person in danger of being harmed. There are regulations, which safeguards and at the same time limit the right of the patient to confidentiality under specific exceptions (Khuse and Singer, 2006).
As discussed above, the medical regulation as well as the federal private act enacted in 1974 requires that medical practitioners maintain confidentiality between them and their patients and that they should not disclose the privacy of their patients. On the other hand, medical practitioners are obligated to safeguard the individuals whom they can identify as being in a risky situation incase they receive information related to the same. In this kind of situation, the factor determining the bridge of this confidentiality obligation is the belief that the person or group of persons is placed in danger with regard to the informati...
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