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Ethical Dilemma - Case Study Example

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Therefore, the legal and professional obligations of confidentiality that are rooted in the given principle of autonomy often are not easily overridden. For this case, continued deliberation weighs increasingly on the side of favouring the duty to inform and warn Linet…
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Ethical Dilemma
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Ethical Dilemma

Download file to see previous pages... Linet came alone to the clinic, though had been married for 7 years and the last born was 3 years of age. At the clinic, she stated that her husband did not know of her pregnancy as they had agreed 3 years ago not to have other children due to their financial difficulties. Linet was determined to have another child despite her husband’s ignorance on the issue.
When it came to HIV testing recommended as part of routine prenatal care, Susan declined saying they had both been tested with her husband before entering their marriage 7 years ago. She claims that she her first three children had been home delivered, and it is because of her complication that resulted in her last pregnancy, pre-eclampsia, that she decided to start attending clinics. Several weeks later, the nurse practitioner receives another new patient, “Peter Wanyama.” The patient states that he is concerned about occurrence of thrush symptoms, which had originally been treated 4 months ago. Peter states that he is HIV positive and had discovered his status 2 years ago. He is a long distance truck driver and sometimes sleeps out. He states that he always has protected sex with his wife. He says that in the past 1 year, he had been visiting an infectious disease specialist who lived 150 miles from where he lives. He states that he had consulted his specialist about the recurrence of his symptom, of which he recommended Peter to seek immediate attention in the town which he lived. 2. Include one ethical principle and one law that could be violated and whether the violation would constitute a civil or criminal act based on facts in the law. The nurse on pulling the file of Linet Wanyama realized that Peter Wanyama was indeed her husband. The nurse practitioner became torn on this scenario as she had an ethical responsibility of informing Linet Wanyama of her need to have an HIV test due to a risk of transmission from her husband who was HIV positive (Lipe, 2008). Furthermore, Linet was living in a world where she believed her husband to be faithful to her when he went on long distance journeys (Lipe, 2008). In addition, informing Linet would help her make a decision on whether to have the child or not as the risk of mother to child transmission would be existing. Furthermore, such a disclosure would help in protecting the unborn child (White, 2008). Next, in informing Peter of his wife’s secret and coming open about his status to his wife, would at least help them make a decision as a family whether to continue with the pregnancy or not (Timby, 2009). The nurse got herself in such an ethical dilemma as in doing one right thing, would resulting in breaking some of the ethical rules which the medical practice stood by (White, 2010). If the nurse decided to inform the Linet about Peter’s HIV status, then he would have gone against the medical code of ethics of confidentiality. Nurse practitioners are often required to keep information about their patient’s secret (Martin, 2010). Going against one’s confidentiality usually leads to civil lawsuit (Janie, 2012). A nurse can be sued and even lose her job and certificate from the medical board in case of such a lawsuit. But in this scenario, in trying to keep quiet, would only result to more harm to the family (Daniels, 2009). If Linet is not informed for instance, she may not know her HIV status and hence not get enrolled in taking HAART; therefore increasing the chance of HIV related ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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