Each time a patient visits a  doctor; is  admitted to a hospital; goes to a pharmacist; or sends a claim to  a  health plan, a record is made of their confidential health information.  In  the past, family doctors and other health care providers protected  the  confidentiality of those records by sealing them away in file  cabinets and  refusing to reveal them to anyone else. Today, the use and  disclosure of this  information is protected by a patchwork of state  laws, thereby leaving gaps  in the protection of patients’ privacy and  confidentiality.

Respond to the following  questions:

  • Do confidentiality and       security play a role in  providing effective protection to patients’       information? Why or  why not? Justify your views using examples.
  • How will you use these       concepts to protect health information?

Justify your  answers with appropriate  research and reasoning by using examples and  references from textbooks,  the South University Online Library, and other  acceptable references.  Cite sources in the APA format. Further, comment on  the postings of at  least two peers.

Part II: Legal and Ethical Issues

Each state has statutes  that govern the  practice of medicine in that state. These are called medical  practice  acts and are meant to protect the health and safety of the public   (Fremgen, 2012). Each state legislature establishes a state medical  board  that has the authority to control the licensing of physicians.  While some  slight differences exist from state to state, in general,  these practice acts  define who must be licensed to perform certain  procedures (Fremgen, 2012).  These acts also specify requirements for  licensure; the duties of the  licensed physician; grounds on which the  license may be revoked or taken  away; and reports that must be made to  the government or other appropriate  agencies (Fremgen 2012).

When healthcare workers  hold patients’  lives in their hands, they must know the right thing to do  when  complications arise (Aiken, 2009). Most healthcare training focuses on   what steps should be taken when medical emergencies or clinically  related  problems arise (e.g., apply pressure to stop bleeding).

In addition to clinical  and medical  complications, healthcare professionals must also deal with  complicated  ethical dilemmas (Aiken, 2009). For example, if a person who is   bleeding is HIV positive, or if someone did not want heroic measures  taken to  save his or her life, should rescue breathing be started?  These are ethical  dilemmas, and the healthcare worker entrusted with  the well-being of patients  must know or be able to discern the right  and the wrong thing to do. Ethics  helps determine the right thing to do  in the case of a moral dilemma (Aiken,  2009).

Accordingly,  respond to the following:

  • What  are the legal and ethical issues that  patients, health care providers, and the  society face? Compare and  contrast using examples.
  • As  a health care professional, suggest ways to handle these issues.

Justify your  answers with appropriate  research and reasoning by using examples and  references from textbooks,  the South University Online Library, and other  acceptable references.  Cite sources in the APA format. Further, comment on  the postings of at  least two peers.

Source: 

Fremgen, B.  (2012). Medical law and ethics. (4th  ed.). Boston, MA: Prentice
Hall.

Aiken, T. (2009). Legal and ethical issues in health occupations. (2nd ed.). St.             Louis, MO: Saunders.

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