Please read the following story and assess it using the Seven Steps to Making a Moral Decision. Use all of the moral principles that have been discussed.
“Please do not reveal!”
A 21yr old filipino student was taken to the hospital emergency room after suffering abdominal injuries as a result of fraternity violence. He had no health insurance, and his hospital stay was shorter than anticipated due to his quick recovery. Physicians treating him believed that he could recover just as well at home as he could in the hospital, and he was discharged after only a few days.
During his hospital stay, the patient informed his primary physician that he was HIV positive and had contracted the AIDS virus. A blood test conducted while he was hospitalized confirmed this. When he was released from the hospital, the doctor advised that a professional nurse visit him at home on a regular basis to change the bandages on his still significant wounds and to ensure that an infection did not arise. He was dependent on Medicaid because he lacked health insurance. Medicaid is a government program that pays for necessary medical care for people who cannot afford it. However, Medicaid refused to pay for home nursing home care because there was already someone in the home who could provide the necessary care. That person was the patient’s 21-year-old sister, who was willing to look after her brother until he recovered completely. Their mother had died in a car accident years before, and the sister was used to caring for her younger siblings. The patient had no objections to his sister providing this care, but he insisted on not being informed of his HIV status. He had always had a good relationship with his sister, but she had no idea he was a gay man. His greatest fear was that his father would discover his homosexuality and lifestyle. Homosexuality is not universally accepted among Filipinos. The patient’s physician is bound by his code of ethics, which places a high value on maintaining confidentiality. That is, a physician cannot reveal information about a patient’s medical condition that the patient does not want revealed. Some argue that the responsibility for confidentiality is even greater in the case of HIV/AIDS because revealing one’s homosexuality usually has devastating personal consequences for the person who is forced “out of the closet.” The patient’s sister, on the other hand, is putting herself in danger by providing nursing care for him. Doesn’t she have a right to know the dangers she’s putting herself in, especially since she willingly volunteered to care for her brother?
What would you do if you were the doctor in this situation? Would you violate the confidentiality rule to protect the patient’s sister, or would you maintain confidentiality to protect the patient from harm caused by his other family members, particularly his father? What would you do if you were the patient in this situation? In this situation, how would you decide what to do?” Where do you begin?
Answer using this ESSAY
The 7-step model is as follows:
1. Gather the facts
2. Determine the social issues
3. Determine what virtues/principles have a bearing on the case
4. List the alternatives
5. Compare the alternatives with the virtues/principles
6. Consider the consequences
7. Make a decision
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