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    Medical Profession Responsibilities

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    Identify the federal law that governs Protected Health Information (PHI) and briefly discuss the elements of compliance. Describe two specific examples of improper privacy disclosure and discuss the challenges of maintaining strict confidentiality in a medical office setting.

    There are several components: 1) Identify the Law 2) discuss the elements of compliance 3) give two examples of improper disclosure and 4) discuss the challenges of maintaining compliance. For full credit you must address each component of the assignment. NAME YOUR FILE: YOURNAME Unit 1 IP 220-03. You need a minimum of 2 references in proper APA format.

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    This is a great question for an assignment in medical ethics, and one that is at the forefront of recent legal privacy issues in the age of electronic information storage and transmission. I have mostly examined medical ethics in a Canadian context, so it is interesting to me to see what is going on in the United States. The issue of improper privacy disclosure comes up frequently in medical settings, although I know in Canada it is more often the cause of formal registration of complaints to the Canadian Medical Association than court cases. The American legal system is quite different, but I think the handling of privacy issues in medical practice is much the same from what I have seen. Let's begin with an overview of confidentiality and what that really means in terms of medical ethics.

    The concept of patient-physician confidentiality is rooted in one section of the Hippocratic Oath: "All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal".

    The American Medical Association has further formalized this obligation in their fourth principle of medical ethics: "A physician shall respect the rights of patients, colleagues, and other health professionals, and shall safeguard patient confidences and privacy within the constraints of the law". (American Medical Association Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs. Principle IV. http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics/principles-medical-ethics.shtml Accessed November 14, 2009.)

    This ethical principle is greatly expanded in the AMA's council on ethical and judicial affairs opinions
    (American Medical Association Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs. Opinion E-5.05, "Confidentiality." http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics/opinion505.shtml Accessed November 14, 2009.) In addition, the AMA has outlined for physicians what is meant by ...

    Solution Summary

    Medical profession responsibilities are noted.