College Essay Examples

Patient’s Confidentiality

Carlos’ physician would not be morally justified to breach the patient’s confidentiality because of having a duty to warn. Medical professionals must protect their patient’s confidentiality. The role of ensuring discretion and confidentiality within the medical fraternity has moral justifications regarding rights originating from relationships. Patients and society trust relationships are a significant aspect of medical practice. The responsibility to be confidential creates a fundamental foundation for trust exists between a physician and a patient. From an ethical viewpoint, respecting principles of autonomy, beneficence, and non-maleficence is a strong justification for ensuring patient confidentiality, basing upon major consideration for individuals (Beltran-Aroca et al., 2016). 

It can further be defined as a moral right to help people keep the privacy of what is entrusted to others, which correlatively gain the responsibility to protect secrecy. Respecting confidentiality is significant to safeguarding a patient’s well-being and ensuring society’s confidence in the physician-patient relationship. Medical information involves observing the patient, diagnosing and providing test result, and the patient’s subjective impressions, behaviours, recreational activities, and lifestyles. Disclosing this information that is highly sensitive improperly could impair the reputation of the patient or lead to personal humiliation and even losing opportunities and financial commitments. However, confidentiality may not be maintained when other people’s safety or public health is compromised (Beltran-Aroca et al., 2016).

Carlos is subjected to losing trust from his father and sister, Consuela if the physician breaches his confidentiality. Besides, HIV status and gay lifestyle pose no threat to his sister taking care of him. Homosexuality is considered unworthy in the Hispanic community. His father may therefore abandon Carlos in a situation the physician reveals Carlos lifestyle to the family. Carlos requires healing properly from the gunshot, and a possible breach of his confidentiality followed by subsequent abandonment may result in psychological implications or loss of life. Therefore, the physician should protect Carlos’ lifestyle and HIV status upon being discharged from the hospital (Grobler & Dhai, 2016).



Beltran-Aroca, C. M., Girela-Lopez, E., Collazo-Chao, E., Montero-Pérez-Barquero, M., & Muñoz-Villanueva, M. C. (2016). Confidentiality breaches in clinical practice: what happens in hospitals?. BMC medical ethics17(1), 1-12.

Grobler, C., & Dhai, A. (2016). Social media in the healthcare context: Ethical challenges and recommendations. South African Journal of Bioethics and Law9(1), 22-25.

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