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Maintain an exceptionless confidentiality rule 18

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maintain an “exceptionless confidentiality rule”[18]that guarantees theconfidentiality of patients’ private information.Preventing harm to a third party is one of the main reasons offered tojustify physicians’ or therapists’ breaches of patient confidentiality,but there are other reasons. In general, the question of whetherhealth professionals should maintain confidentiality arises when this
duty somehow conflicts with duties to uphold other social interests.Even where there is no identifiable potential victim, it may be thatprofessionals should be required to report certain health conditions torelevant authorities for the sake of society and the greater good. MostUS states and Canadian provinces require, for example, thatphysicians report certain communicable diseases as well as incidencesof abnormal brain activity such as seizures, and some laws requirethat physicians report wounds caused by weapons.Communicable diseases and gunshot and knife wounds should bereported as required by applicable statutes or ordinances. Thus, thephysician’s duty of confidentiality at times must give way to a strongercountervailing societal interest.[19]The primary consideration in any case where it is problematic for ahealth professional to maintain patient confidentiality is whether andhow, precisely, the contemplated breach of confidentiality would fulfilla competing professional obligation to a particular other or to societyat large. Without clear justificatory reasons for behaving otherwise,physicians and other health-care professionals are obligated, for goodreason, to uphold patient trust by maintaining confidentiality.Study Question Forum5.8 Patient AutonomyDo you think that there are situations where theprinciples of beneficence or non-maleficence shouldoverride the principle of respecting patient autonomy sothat physicians are morally justified (perhaps evenobligated) to deceive their patients either by lying or byomitting truths? Explain your view and reasoning.
Yes, I do think there are situations where benefinance or non-maleficenceprinciples should override the principle of respecting patient autonomy todeceive their patients either by lying or by omitting truths becausecertain situations need another type of honesty. If someone was dying ontheir deathbed, why should you tell them they killed 10 people in the caraccident? If someone is very sick and already going to die, do you need totell them that they have other illnesses if it won’t affect them right away.There are so many different scenarios that could happen that wouldlead to doing good by lying and omitting truths for now. I think it has tobe justifiable and won’t hurt the patient by not knowing right away.Doctors have a lot of moral justifications to do since their days are notall the same and they need to act accordingly to provide the best careand make sure each patient is comfortable.

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Term
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Ezekiel J Emanuel

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