Case One: Mary Stokes is in need of a kidney transplant, and her parents and siblings have been tested for compatibility.

Case One: Mary Stokes is in need of a kidney transplant, and her parents and siblings have been tested for compatibility. Her father is afraid of operations and knows that kidney trouble runs in the family. Before the test, Mary’s father tells the doctor that he does not want anyone, especially his wife, to know that he is compatible. He explains that if the family knows they will pressure him into being a donor. The father turns out to be the only one who is compatible. Mary asks the doctor, “Are you sure no one in my family is compatible?”

Is the father a patient and protected by confidentiality? Even if he is not a patient, is his explicit request, which was not refused, a protection of his confidentiality? If the matter is confidential, what can the physician say or do to protect the secret?

Case Two: Dr. Curious has a habit of wandering around the hospital and looking at the records of friends who are in the hospital. The nurses have tried to stop him, but he has retaliated by making their lives miserable and belittling them in public at every opportunity. The nursing administration has been notified, but has done nothing, as it wants to avoid rocking the boat.

What are the nurses’ ethical obligations after they have done everything mentioned in the text?

Solution Preview

Case 1
In the given case, the father is a patient because he is afraid of operations and mentally not ready for kidney donation. According to donor selection criteria, a living kidney donor must be absolutely healthy both physically and mentality. The father of Mary is physically fit and compatible to donate his kidney, but he is not mentally ready for donation due to his fear of pneumonia or infection from operations that can be considered as psychological illness. This particular information about the father is protected by confidentiality or not it depends on doctor because this is a general disease that occupies in most of the human beings. According to legal and ethical obligations of medical profession, there is no restriction for not disclosing this type of psychological problem of a person with others (UC Davis, 2015).

If the father is not a patient and matched all criteria to become a living kidney donor, but at the same time, he is requested to doctor for not disclosing to his family members that he is compatible to donate kidney then it will be an ethical responsibility of doctor to maintain confidentiality of …

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