In the view of health informatics ethic, the answer is clear in my opinion, we should not tell the friend about the husband’s HIV status but in the real-world situation, the answer is much more nuanced. If the HIV diagnosis is recent, the husband may like a second opinion or even another confirmation before telling the wife. It is his right to do so as medical errors happen all the time. To answer according to the prompt questions,
1. What should you do?
– Health professional must stick to the ethical principles and individual’s right to privacy and confidentiality
2. As a health information professional, can you tell your friend?
– We should not and must not tell any other party.
3. Can you interfere with other people or family issue?
– Coming from a background of a medical doctor, we can use counseling techniques (before HIV test, pre-counseling is mandatory in my country) to make sure the HIV positive patients take all the precaution necessary to prevent the spread of the disease.
4. But should your friend not know about this because she might be at risk?
– As a public health professional, we must do everything we can to spread an infectious disease but within the ethical boundaries. In an ideal world when a married person took an HIV test pre-counseling of both patient and spouse is done.
5. How will you follow the fundamental principles about right to self-determination, doing good and doing no harm to others?
– Following the fundamental principles about right to self-determination, we must not disclose the HIV status of the patient without his informed consent and following the doing good and doing no harm to others principle we will conduct proper pre-counseling and post-counseling services.
6. Isn’t it your obligation and the right of subject to hold the information?
– It is my obligation to follow the ethical principles to not disclose information without patient’s consent and it is the right of subject to hold the information but as a health professional we must do everything we can to limit the spread of disease within the bounds of ethical standards.
Reply To: Topic 3 Ethics-1
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