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Paper Topic:

Privacy and Confidentiality

The physician is in a difficult position in handling doctor-patient confidentiality . Going either way would inevitably violate the doctor-patient confidentiality clauses

Principles of Medical Ethics

In medicine , there are four important principles that are applicable to doctor-patient confidentiality . The four include the respect for autonomy of persons , beneficence , non-maleficence and justice (Benn and Boyd , 1996 ,

.223 . Autonomy basically explains the ability of individuals to make decision and think for themselves . Levels of maturity set the limits to autonomy . In to exercise autonomy patients must have access to information concerning

their health from which they could base the consequent decisions and actions to take . The decisions must be reached without coercion or external manipulation

Beneficence and non-maleficence work in pairs . This means that the physician has the duty to enhance the welfare of his patients and at the same time , the situation should not cause any form of distress to others . The Hippocratic oath of Above all , do no harm ' implies that the physician must take all the necessary steps to produce the net medical benefit with minimal harm (Benn and Boyd , 1996 ,

.223 . It may be required that the physician take into consideration in the best interest ' of the patients in the event they may be temporarily or permanently unable to assume autonomy (pp .223-224

Finally , in the interest of applying fairness , the medical practitioner must form criteria to settle conflicts among different individuals Justice presupposes that all individuals are accorded equal treatment regardless of gender , wealth or social status . However , Aristotle would argue that people have different needs and therefore not all decisions could be rendered as inequitable . The medical practitioner 's decision on maintaining or abandoning doctor-patient confidentiality is also dependent of factors like local , national or international dimensions For example , concerning the need for disclosure...

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