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Confidentiality In Nursing Essay For Admission


Case description

Nurses face more and more ethical dilemmas during their practice nowadays, especially when they are taking care of the patient at end of life stage. The case study demonstrates an ethical dilemma when nursing staff are taking care of an end stage aggressive prostate cancer patient Mr Green who expressed the suicide thoughts to one of the nurses and ask that nurse keep secret for him in Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

Ethical dilemma identification

The ethical dilemma is identified as “if the nursing staff should tell other health care team members about patient's suicide attempt without patient's consent”.


To better solving this case and making the best moral decision, the ethical theory, the ethical principles and the Australian nurses' code of ethics values statement, the associated literature relative with this case are analyzed before the decision making.

Ethical decision making

After consider all of the above factors, in this case, the best ethical decision for the patient is that the nurse share the information of Mr Green's suicide attempt with other health care professionals.


In Mr Green's case, the nurse chose to share the information of Mr Green's suicide attempt with other health care professionals. The nursing team followed the self-harm and suicide protocol of the hospital strictly, they maintained the effective communication with Mr Green, identified the factors which cause patient's suicide attempt, provided the appropriate nursing intervention to deal will these risk factors and collaborated with other health care professionals to prefect the further care. The patient transferred to a palliative care service with no sign of suicide attempt and other self-harm behaviors and passed away peacefully 76 days after discharged with his relatives and pastors accompany.

The Patient's Rights And Confidentiality In The Nursing Profession

This reflection indentifies what I have learnt about confidentiality and privacy, patient’s right to know about their health condition health and empathic response in Nursing Profession.
Nursing as a caring profession needs communicating receptively, empathy, trust and respect to establish and maintain a strong therapeutic relationship with the patient and the family.
I will make reference to a significant experience I had as a student nurse during my clinical practice in the obstetric and gynaecology unit of the hospital I trained in my country.
Confidentiality will be maintained at all times. During the period of my placement, I was assigned Mrs M who was diagnosed with Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD). During my break period, I walked with my colleague through the hallway to the cafeteria and we were engaged in a discussion about my patient’s diagnosis and the prognosis. I told her that according to the discussion the doctor had with the nursing team, she had minimal chances of survival from the disease. Unknown to us, the patient’s son was following us at the back.
When my break period was over, I came back to the unit to check on my patient. On getting to her bed side, I notice she was crying so I tried to console her and know why she was crying. She asked me why nobody told her about her illness knowing it was serious and will lead to death. She asked why we lied to her.
My initial thought when I met her crying was that she was in a severe pain, but when she asked the question; I knew that the son told her about what he overheard me discussing with my colleague in the hallway.
Upon reflection, I had the ethical and legal responsibility to maintain the confidentiality and privacy of client health information obtained while providing care. (CNO 2002). Discussing my patient health information with another colleague that was not the primary nurse for the patient was a breach of confidentiality.
I tried to console her and reassured her that the outcome of her illness will turn out good with the treatment she was on. As a student, I did not know that giving a false reassurance to the client will close off communication thereby affecting the nurse/client relationship which was what later happened between me and the patient.
From this, I have realised that the patient have the right to know every details about their illness...

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