Nursing ethics and law

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However, it is not absolute and may be subject to some limitations as far as allowed by the law and Australian Code of Ethics. In the case study at hand, Maria Garza, a nurse practitioner, is faced with a dilemma relating to this aspect of ethical and legal question. She has a young teen, 15 years, who happens to have become pregnant but would not wish to have her mother, among other people, informed of her status. However, the teenager is equally helpless in the sense that she does not know what she would do about her pregnancy and may need to rely on the mother later, more so when the pregnancy complications sets in. The mother on the other hand appears to have taken note of this and has complained and sought an advice from Garza what the problem could be with her daughter, considering her recent frequent nausea and tiredness. Her mother comes in when the nurse is having a session with the daughter, during which she discloses her suspicion and worries to the nurse. 1.1 Main Issue The main issue in this case is whether or not to conceal and not to disclose the information about a client (patient) that comes into the knowledge of a nurse in the course of her professional attendance to the client. …
The procedure of delivering the chosen course of action, so that neither the mother nor the daughter is harmed also becomes an issue. 1.2 Legal/Ethical Significant Considerations in the Case A number of ethical and moral considerations come into play in this case. Given that the nurse came to learn of Sandy’s pregnancy in the course of her professional duty, it is imperative as a matter of the law and ethics that she keeps it secret and confidential. As already pointed out, disclosing details of the client without the client’s consent or when the law has not permitted is inconsistent with the fundamental duty of confidentiality owed by a nurse to the patient (client). As a duty of the nurse, the correlative of it is that it translates into a right of the client. The Privacy Act (1988) provides that all personal information pertaining to an individual must be kept in trust and not revealed to third parties. In this case, Sandy’s mother may be viewed as a third party. Breach of this duty may be actionable in law. However, under the Privacy Act (1988), the duty of confidentiality and safeguard of privacy by those holding private information is not absolute. A professional or any other entity holding the information may disclose it if it is consistent with the purpose for which the information is primarily held or for the secondary related purposes or where the holder of the information is under a legal duty to make such disclosures. In this case, the essence of digging out Sandy’s health complication was to find out how best to have her medical conditions attended to. Given that her low haemoglobin level is attributed to her pregnancy, her parents will have to