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LEGAL REPORTING AND PATIENT RIGHTS - Essay Example

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In this case it was clear that the complainant was a resident physician who gashed blood from a cut and unsure of the safety of his…
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LEGAL REPORTING AND PATIENT RIGHTS
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Case analysis of legal aspects concerning HIV/AIDS infected medical physician HIV/AIDS as a pandemic is a global issue that needs serious address since mortality rates are high especially if diagnosed at its full blown stage. In this case it was clear that the complainant was a resident physician who gashed blood from a cut and unsure of the safety of his blood transferring onto his patients while conducting surgery decided to take a HIV test. Results were positive and he drew back from conducting further surgical operations. The medical center in which he worked identified 279 patients of which Harrisburg identified 168 in risk (Pozgar, 2011) and with the fact that they did not hold recordings of surgery accidental cuts pleaded on the information act {(35PS 7608(a)2)} (Pozgar, 2011)thus no need to expose the information about the plaintiff to the patients. On the other hand the court picked out some of the information to release which included relinquishing the surgeon’s medical condition to his fellow practitioners, sending detailed letters to the patients at risk and interdicting physicians from exposing the details of their fellow practitioner to third parties. With these facts in mind, it arose that was it called for by the court to release elaborated facts about the medical condition of the surgeon considering his willingness to come out openly about his medical condition and ending his medical practice.Further afield the principle or the rationale that came up was that there was some risk if it was not exposed which was backed up by the medical experts who were witnesses. The argument to this was that revealing this information could have prevented further spreading of the disease if some of the patients had been infected unwillingly.
Was the legal obligation to the people met?
Patients had the right to know about the infected practitioner. This was done by the court since they were given portions of information concerning the infected physician. Consequently fellow surgeons who worked in the same department and in the medical center were informed. This saved lots of lives taking into account that some of them might have had relations with the practitioner. On the other hand the release of information was substantial since the information was limited only to the patients and the medical practitioners in the center. All in all its in my opinion that the legal obligation to the people was met. This is in the view that patients that were in jeopardy were informed and considering the year in question, those who had sexual relations with the plaintiff should have practiced safe sex. This is in the opinion that HIV/AIDS in 1990s was well known and information was readily available.
Should the doctors’ full names be released to fellow workers?
Considering that the doctor interacted with his fellow workmates on a day to day basis, revelation was paramount. This is because fellow physicians with whom he might have exchanged fluids with through sexual contact and other ways might have been infected. Also it could have prevented further spread and created measures and policies while conducting surgery safer and less risky.
On the other hand, exposure of the doctor’s medical condition could have several implications. According to Shelby, Smith and Mancoske (2012) infected medical practitioners are faced with discrimination sacking at work and mistreatment by their superiors. Further spreading of his medical condition to people could create a bad image on the medical center and legal cases could arise from this considering the volatility of the medical condition on patients who are treated in the center.
Finally, when looked in both faces, though the breach in privacy and information at some level on the infected doctor, the divulgence of this information could have prevented further spread, tightened surgery guidelines and saved the infected from knowing their status at a later date.
References
Pozgar, G. (2011). Legal aspects of health care administration. Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Shelby, D. R., Smith, J. D., & Mancoske, R. J. (2012). Practice issues in Hiv and Aids. London: Routledge. Read More
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