Applying Ethical Frameworks In Practice Analysis

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Applying Ethical Frameworks in Practice Susan Warden Grand Canyon University Applying Ethical Frameworks in Practice In the article Bioethics in NBC’s ER: Betraying Trust or Providing Good Care? The author examines the ethical issue of patient confidentiality. On the television show ER Nurse Hathaway encounters a 14 year old patient who comes into the ER to be tested for a STD. Nurse Hathaway promises the patient that all of the information that she tells her will be kept confidential so the patient confides in her. After testing is complete the results revealed that she had HPV and cervical cancer. Nurse Hathaway was now faced with an ethical dilemma. Should she maintain the patient’s confidentiality or should she tell the patient’s…show more content…
Some of these principles used to support my position include: Beneficence which is a form of action intended to benefit or promote the good of another person or the duty to do good (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2010). Nurse Hathaway had the obligation to tell the patients parents about her diagnosis or she would not have been doing the best thing for the patient. The principle of nonmaleficence which is derived from that Latin language and means do no harm is another principle that supports the decision to inform that patients parents (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2010). By not informing the parents the nurse would be doing harm to the patient. The patient is a minor and may not comprehend the severity of her diagnosis. The nurse as an adult needs to tell the parents so that the patient does not experience harm. The principle of autonomy is another principle that I would use to justify my position in this case. Autonomy is the ability of a patient to give informed consent and make their own decisions (University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, 2008). Because this patient is a minor she is not mature enough to understand all of the implications of her diagnosis and treatment. This is why a minor must have parental consent to be…show more content…
This would be difficult without informing the parents. The patient’s parents must be informed because the patient is at an age where she in not capable of making her own medical decisions. The committee may have been called in to advise the nurse and physician involved as to what steps they should take to inform the parents. Patient confidentiality is vital to maintain patient trust. When a nurse breaches this trust patient outcomes can be jeopardized. When a patient fears that their information will not be kept confidential they may withhold information that is crucial to reach a diagnosis and plan effective treatment. References American Medical Association. (2012). Nathanson, P. G. (2000). Bioethics on NBC’s ER: Betraying trust or providing good care? When is it ok to break confidentiality. Retrieved from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (2010). University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. (2008).

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