Hit 232 Ethical Dilemma

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Running head: ETHICAL DILEMMA PAPER Ethical Dilemma Paper: The Need to Know HUMN232 / DeVry University April 16, 2011 The Health Information Management (HIM) professional’s job description is more a statement of ethical responsibilities than it is a traditional description of the duties and tasks an employer expects to be carried out. “The HIM’s core ethical obligation is to protect patient privacy and confidential communication. This obligation is at the center of his or her decision making, regardless of employment site or employment responsibilities.” (Johns & etal, 2007) For this reason, a HIM professional must be a person of high moral character and virtue due to the sensitivity of the information they are responsible for daily. In some order they might be classified as an ethicist. Their professional responsibilities exceed any personal values they may have while on the job. At the same time, the HIM’s road is paved with unexpected ethical dilemmas that must be dealt with precisely as outlined by federal laws, regulatory rules and a strict code of ethics. The management of patient health information has been an area for concern for everyone involved in the delivery of healthcare since the recognition and need to document scientific research and medical discoveries. Medical science would not be advanced as it is today had it not been for the enlightened foresight of our early physicians and scientists who aspired to share and record their experiments and outcomes. At the expense of human subjects, great medical breakthroughs occurred that are still in practice today. Each time an experiment would be conducted on a human subject, deceased or alive, documentation was needed to carry out the processes to rule out, discover and advance new medical diagnosis, drugs, surgeries, cures and treatments for the world’s ills. Examples of this are, “the
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