Do you have confidential information? What should you do? Why?
Case Study – Chapter 9
The story of Mr. Shaw provides a good basis for thinking about some of the things you have just learned. Ann von Essen is a health professional, and David Shaw is a patient in the hospital where she works. He has been referred to her for discharge planning. Mr. Shaw is a pleasant man, 42 years old, whose family often is at his side during visiting hours. He was admitted to the hospital with numerous fractures and a contusion after an automobile accident in which his car “skidded out of control and hit a tree.” He has no memory of the accident, but the person traveling behind him reported the scene. The arrangement for his discharge is going smoothly. During one of Ann von Essen’s visits, however, Mr. Shaw’s mother, a wiry woman of about 80 years, follows her down the corridor. At the elevator, Mrs. Shaw says, “I wish you’d tell Sonny not to drive. It’s those epileptic fits he has, you know. He’s had ‘em since he was a kid. Lordy, I’m scared to death he’s going to kill himself and someone else too.” Ann is at a loss about what to say. She thanks Mrs. Shaw and jumps on the elevator. She goes down the elevator for one flight, gets off, and runs back up the stairs to the nurses’ desk. She logs on to the computer to review Mr. Shaw’s medical record and finds nothing about any type of seizures.
Using 550-750 words answer the following questions based on the chapter readings and your thought/opinions
Put yourself in the place of Ann von Essen. Do you have confidential information? What should you do? Why?
Let us assume that in the state in which you work the law requires that people with epileptic seizures be reported to the Department of Public Health, which in turn reports them to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
What do you think is the morally “right” action to take regarding Mr. Shaw once you have become the recipient of the information about his possible problem?
What duties and rights inform your decision about what to do?
Suppose you believe that it is morally right for the Department of Motor Vehicles to be advised of this situation. The obvious course of action is for you to inform the physician, the physician to report to the Department of Public Health, and the Department of Public Health to report to the Department of Motor Vehicles. If any of the usual links in this process are broken by failure to communicate the information, do you have a responsibility to make sure the Department of Motor Vehicles has actually received this information?
Defend your position regarding how far you believe you and anyone else in your profession should go in pursuing this matter.
1. includes addressing assessment of confidential information and recommendations for action supported by language of ethics.
2. includes ethical decision for case supported by ethical principles (duties and rights) and reflection regarding reporting responsibilities.
3. includes content regarding a defense of professional responsibility in the case study supported by language of ethics.