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Ethical Issue-Privacy and Confidentiality

Ethical Issue-Privacy and Confidentiality

ANA’s Position on Privacy and Confidentiality

Confidentiality is a set of guidelines restricting access to information shared between a person and their healthcare providers. It’s a legal requirement to keep anything discussed with a health practitioner private. Information can only be shared if authorized by the owner or under special circumstances outlined by the law (Waldrop, 2022). In a healthcare setting, privacy implies that what a patient tells a healthcare practitioner, any recorded information, and all other sensitive data are kept private. The American Nurses Association (ANA) states that privacy and confidentiality protection are critical to sustaining the rapport and trust between healthcare practitioners and patients. Furthermore, they believe that they are necessary for professional practice.

Ethical principles of concern in the position statement

The ethical principles of concern in the statement are autonomy, justice, nonmaleficence, and beneficence. Autonomy is the patient’s right to make their own decisions based on their beliefs and principles (Issa et al., 2020). The health practitioner has to accept their decision, whether it seems right or wrong. A patient has the right to decide which information remains private and confidential. Justice is equal and fair treatment for all. All patients have a right to privacy and confidentiality. Nonmaleficence requires healthcare providers not to harm. Patient information should be kept private and confidential to avoid unauthorized access, loss, or revelation. Beneficence requires healthcare providers to act toward benefiting the patient and keeping patient information private and confidential benefits the patient.

Patient-nurse Relationship in Privacy and Confidentiality

Privacy and confidentiality affect the relationship between a nurse and their patients. The relationship can be positive or negative depending on the nurse’s ability to maintain patient privacy and confidentiality. A nurse who maintains a patient’s privacy and confidentiality earns their trust. Furthermore, they maintain a good relationship with the patients. Patients have a negative attitude towards nurses who breach their privacy and confidentiality. A good relationship cannot exist because patients cannot trust the nurse with their personal information.


Bani Issa, W., Al Akour, I., Ibrahim, A., Almarzouqi, A., Abbas, S., Hisham, F., & Griffiths, J. (2020). Privacy, confidentiality, security, and patient safety concerns about electronic health records. International Nursing Review, 67(2), 218-230.

Waldrop, J. B. (2022). Reconsidering Privacy. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 18(6), 591-592.


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Ethical Issue-Privacy and Confidentiality

Ethical Issue-Privacy and Confidentiality

Briefly describe the issue and the ANA’s position on the issue.

Describe (with some explanation) which of the ethical principles (justice, autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, veracity) is of concern in the position statement.

Discuss how the issue might affect the relationship between a nurse and a patient.

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