Explore BrainMass

Ethical issues in treatment and prevention of AIDS

I have been researching this topic and am finding conflicting data could you please advise.

Right to privacy - Ethical issues surrounding the rights of the individual, patient privacy, duty to warn, and public safety in the United States.

1- What privacy rights do individuals with HIV have? How can these individuals and the community be protected?

2- What (if any) "duty to warn" exists? Should a national registry be established for people with AIDS? Why or why not?

Solution Preview

Balancing individuals rights to privacy and duty to public health.

Determining when the public safety outweighs the right of the individual to privacy has been an ethical dilemma that continues to generate both state and nationwide controversy at executive, judicial and legislative levels.
Physician-patient relationship is base on confidentiality. It is this confidentiality that allows the patient to disclose elements that otherwise s/he would have not talked about. Many times that confidential disclosure determines how his/her disease is managed. Individuals with HIV have the right to expect the same confidentiality as any other individual. In fact, the Privacy Rule under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) prohibits use or disclosure of a patient's health information, including HIV status, without the patient's permission (CDC, 2003). Unless otherwise indicated by the state law, the physician has the duty to refer the patient to counseling and ...

Solution Summary

The solution involves a discussion of the rights to privacy of a person with HIV and the duty to public safety. It includes the controvery involving establishing a national registry of people with AIDs.