Patient Confidentiality


Asan IT Services Manager at a Community Health Center, I would advisethe doctor, not to retain the information since the physician-patientprivilege prevents therapists from using patients’ information in acourt of law. In addition, the law prohibits disclosure of patients’information without their consent. If the physician fears that thepatient’s information is unsafe, he or she should find a secureplace to store the data (Morrison, 2011).

Iwould also decline to delete the patient’s information because thelaw requires retaining such information for the purpose of publicgood. Relevant health care professionals should be informed of thepatient’s health status, especially if he or she is suffering froma contagious disease. It is unlawful for a health care organizationto destroy the donor’s information for the sake of protecting hisor her confidentiality. In such a situation, the ethical solutionwould be the doctor informing the disclosing to the patient his/herexisting health status. Then the physician should request the patientto permit him/her to share the information with relevant healthofficials confidentially. Healthcare ethics stipulates that hospitalsshould retain patients’ data for for the period it is necessary. Ifa patient declines to authorize his or her personal data use, the lawexempts patient’s confidentiality clause permitting health careprofessionals to share their information with relevant authorities(Morrison, 2011).

Finally,physicians’ ethics dictates that physicians should educate patientson the relevance of sharing their personal data with the health carecommunity. Hospitals have a duty of protecting the entire community.As a result, they should educate the patients concerning therelevance of sharing their personal data for the public good. Thepatient should understand that their information could be usedanonymously in the research laboratory thus, only the presentphysician will know the real person (Morrison, 2011).

Inconclusion, the physician should not destroy the patient’sinformation, as it would be valuable in conducting furtherinvestigation intended to protect the health of the community.However, the doctor should only release the least data possible tothe appropriate individuals in order to avoid disclosing the realidentity of patients to the public.


Morrison,E. E. (2011). Ethicsin health administration: A practical approach for decision makers.Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

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