"Disclosure of Patients Information" is a worthy example of a paper on medical ethics. What is your duty in this case? I have an ethical duty of telling the doctor about the patient’ s new development but the morals of letting him die in hospital and not with his family and yet nothing can be done to him medically due of his condition, then I would let them go without telling the doctor. The other duty I have is to protect the patient’ s information and not disclose it to others unless having consent from the patient.
This duty, therefore, binds me to not disclose any information to the doctor. What are Mr. Cole's rights? Mr. Cole has the right to go home against medical advice and even if I tell the doctor about the cough, he can choose to ignore any obstruction by the doctor and use his rights to go home. This will however mean that the insurance will not pay for the homecare that he should receive and the doctor will not be held liable if Mr. Cole dies or becomes seriously sick as a result of the cough. As a medical and health caretaker of Mr.
Cole, he has the right to sue me if I disclose any information about his health to anyone including the doctor without obtaining his consent. This, therefore, means that if he does not grant me the consent, then I cannot disclose that information to the doctor and hence forced to sign his discharge form. Is it ever justified to withhold information from the physician? Yes, it is justified and especially if the disclosure of the information will cause psychological harm to the patient like in the case of Mr.
Cole who will be psychologically tortured to die in hospital and not at home with his family. The patient is also justified to withhold information from the physician if he or she fears that confidentiality will not be upheld. Some patients like being treated by only one doctor and they fear that disclosure of information will lead to the case being reassigned and this is justifiable if the patient suffered a traumatic situation while in the care of another doctor. Will you chart the incident and will you report it to anyone? I will not chart the incidence because the patient did not wish me to do that and I respect their rights to confidentiality.
The patient did not give his consent and therefore I cannot disclose any information to contradict that because it will bring me malpractice and other legal cases. The patient’ s condition is in the last stages and hence nothing much can be done and he therefore awaiting death. The psychological healing and even some physical healing that can make him last a few days longer can be drawn from strong social support.
This he will get at home and hence I have an ethical duty to protect his general medical wellbeing even if it means letting him go home without reporting the condition to the doctor. The decision to let him go will allow him to live longer and bear his illness more strongly as a result of the social support provided by his family at home.