Confidentiality as Ethical Duty of Healthcare Providers
Confidentiality is keeping and protecting clients’ information from access by unauthorized persons or distortion. While on duty, health practitioners receive confidential information from their patients which help in planning and delivery treatment (Grilo et al., 2019). Patients’ treatment can be affected when the data is disclosed. Health practitioners have an obligation not to disclose to anyone the information of their patient. Keeping information without telling builds trust between doctors and patients. Every patient expectation is that their medical record is held in private unless there is a severe problem that prevents doctors from doing so.
Healthcare providers have a professional and ethical duty to keep all information shared by patients private and confidential. However, there are unavoidable circumstances that may require medical practitioners to breach patient confidentiality. One of the limitations or reasons that may warrant disclosure of patient information is when the provider obtains consent from the patient or their family (Grilo et al., 2019). It is a common form of revealing patient data, which is done with much confidence. Furthermore, patient data can be put in public due to public interest. In this situation, courts may be required to decide for the patient, especially when under severe detection. An example is a crime to be committed by a patient who is under treatment. The patient report can be disclosed when it is required by law. Breaching under the law is a lawful way of getting patient confidentiality, and it does not have consequences.
Lastly, it is imperative for healthcare practitioners to let their patients know about confidentiality. One of the major benefits of ensuring that those receiving care are aware about the privacy of their data is the ability to create and maintain trusting relationships (Grilo et al., 2019). Knowing that their privacy is granted, patients are more likely to develop more courage to seek medical services. Moreover, assuring patients’ privacy, especially in relation to the disclosure of their information to doctors, will boost their confidence and motivate them to share deeper insights into their health needs and problems.
Grilo, S. A., Catallozzi, M., Santelli, J. S., Yan, H., Song, X., Heitel, J., Kaseeska, K., Gorzkowski, J., Dereix, A., & Klein, J. D. (2019). Confidentiality discussions and private time with a health-care provider for youth, United States, 2016. Journal of Adolescent Health, 64(3), 311-318. Web.