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Ethics and Law: Analysis of the Case Involving Confidentiality Issues between Patient and Midwife

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Deon is the Greek word for duty, and, as the term suggests, deontological theory considers the duty to be the central issue, as opposed to teleological considerations of deontology, which consider that everything has been created by God to serve humankind. Deontologists believe that what is good in the world stems from people doing their duty. They consider duty first, regardless of the consequences, with the notion of happiness fitting in where, and if, it can. Perhaps this can be illustrated by considering the men who, despite personal risk to themselves and the knowledge that they may never return to their families, enlisted with the armed forces in the two World Wars.

In the given situation, it can be explained that the midwife chose to disclose such information because she believes that what is good in the world stems from people doing their duty and she considers disclosing information to a relative as her duty first regardless of the consequences. (Dimond, 2005)Nature of Legal Liability of Confidentiality. A person ought to keep a secret if he has said that he will do so.

English courts have translated this simple moral precept into a form of civil legal, liability which is of considerable breadth. The development runs counter to the judges' traditional reluctance to adopt broad propositions as ground rules for the imposition of liability, and they are now having to face some of the difficulties inherent in their unusual course. All sorts of information may be imparted or gathered in confidence but the degree of secrecy required may be partial or total. The fashioning of the law into more specific rules is accordingly difficult and may appear as imprecise as the subject-matter is ephemeral.

In contrast with many other legal systems, English law does not distinguish between types of information that may be protected against breach of confidence: technological secrets, such as chemical formulae and mechanical techniques, patient records, commercial records such as customer lists and sales figures, marketing, professional and managerial procedures, and equally information of political significance and about personal relationships.        

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preview essay on Ethics and Law: Analysis of the Case Involving Confidentiality Issues between Patient and Midwife
  • Pages: 24 (6000 words)
  • Document Type: Case Study
  • Subject: Law
  • Level: Masters
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