Adminstrative Ethics Paper

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Administrative Ethics Paper

Tammy Gillespie

University of Phoenix

HCS 335

Webb Jones

July 18, 2011

Administrative Ethics Paper

Health care is among the most personal services rendered in our society today however to deliver this care a large amount of personnel must have access to intimate patient information. Maintaining confidentiality is becoming more difficult. The need to protect patient confidentiality is evident in legal restrictions imposed by state laws and the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA) and was recently amended under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act.(politifact, 2011).

Physicians have always had a duty to keep their patients confidence. This means that a physician or any administrative person may not disclose any medical information revealed by a patient or discovered by a physician in connection with the treatment of a patient. As explained by AMA’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs the purpose of a physician’s ethical duty to maintain patient confidentiality is to allow the patient to feel free to make a full and frank disclosure of information to the physician with the knowledge that the physician will protect the confidentiality nature of the information disclosed. (AMA, 2009). Maintaining patient confidentiality is a legal duty as well as an ethical duty.

A physician’s legal obligations are defined by the US Constitution, by federal and state law and regulation, and by the courts.(AMA, 2011). Despite these ethical and legal obligations, access to confidential patient information has become more prevalent. In 1996 Congress enacted the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This was to require new safeguards to protect the privacy of health information. The final results were signed into law by President Bush in 2001. On February 17, 2009 President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The goal...