An Assignment Discussing the Ethical and Legal Dilemmas Regarding Patient Confidentiality.

3273 Words14 Pages
An assignment discussing the ethical and legal dilemmas regarding Patient Confidentiality. The assignment will discuss patient confidentiality and the different approaches to decision making with regard to ethical and legal dilemmas. The court case of X v Y [1988] will be discussed, this case involved a health care worker selling information regarding two doctors who contracted AIDS to a national newspaper. The two doctors who were carrying on in general practice obtained an order restraining the newspaper from publishing any confidential information contained in their hospital records. However the newspaper published an article ‘Scandal of Docs with AIDS’ implying that the Department of Health and Social Security were trying to hide the fact that these doctors were continuing practice. The ethical dilemma of who had the greater rights the doctors not to have their patient confidentiality breached or their patients right to know that they were infected with the virus will be discussed. The AIDS/HIV Discrimination Act, The Data Protection Act and The Cauldicott Principles will be discussed as they have a huge impact on patient confidentiality. Relevant court cases, journals and media articles will be studied and Griepp’s model of ethical decision making will be applied. Patient autonomy has changed patient attitudes towards doctors over the last 30 years. Medical paternalism has been replaced with patient-centered medicine. (Hope et al 2004, p.9). Patient confidentiality is enshrined in the Hippocratic Oath, swearing to practice medicine morally and ethically that anything in connection with professional practice and the patient will be kept secret. (Montgomery 2003, p29). Jackson (2010, p348), states that ‘unlike patient autonomy, which is a relatively recent preoccupation of medical law and ethics, a doctors’ duty to respect her patients’
Open Document