Applying Ethical Frameworks in Practice (WHEN IS IT OK TO BREAK CONFIDENTIALITY)

Breach of confidentiality is one of the most debated issues in healthcare. Regardless of the fact that confidentiality should not be broken (in accordance with the Hippocratic Oath); there are some occasions which necessitate the confidentiality of a patient to be broken (Levit, 2009). Such occasions include cases where a patient may be diagnosed with an infectious disease that may affect the larger community. According to Sigler, (2008) the law requires that medical practitioners disclose information regarding such cases. Sigler goes ahead to assert that countries such as the United States have such provisions in their constitutions. The Pacific Reports, (2007) suggest that cases where patients are diagnosed with a disease or are in a situation that may cause harm or damage to them, the medical practitioners may be prompted to break the confidentiality rule. Such cases include a situation where a patient’s health status is wanting and/or they are diagnosed of a disease which is quite grim, and it happens that the patient is in a coma.

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