Patient Safety versus Privacy Laws evaluation

Ethical Dilemma

The author of this report is to assess an ethical dilemma that involves a couple of important factors. The two main ethical issues are patient privacy and when the proper time to blow the whistle on a doctor truly comes, not to mention how to do it. Kendra finds out that a family member is about to get gastric bypass from a doctor that has had a staggering amount of people that have had complications or died post-surgery. She feels compelled to warn her mother even though this would be a breach of privacy laws and ethical guidelines. While privacy regulations are in place for a reason, patient safety is also a valid concern and that is clearly an issue with Dr. Russell and his practices.

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Patient Safety versus Privacy Laws evaluation
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay


Sue’s internal forces would include the fact that Dr. Russell, her boss and employer, is facing a lawsuit due to the death of a patient and it is also known that other patients have died or have complications and this is bring stress to Sue. Sue’s external forces would be the current patient that is threatening to sue as it involves her employer. Kendra’s internal forces are similar in that the doctor’s apparent malpractice is affecting her work stability and structure and she’s getting pressure from Sue to dig up records that are certainly going to implicate the doctor and/or the practices of the office. Kendra’s external pressures include the fact that all but one gastric bypass patient have had complications and roughly a third of them actually died and this is going to mushroom in the form of pressure against the office and lawsuits from the patients and/or families of patients. The ultimate external pressure is that Kendra’s mother is due up for a surgery from that same doctor (AMA, 2014).

One of the ethical concerns in this case is when it is acceptable to breach patient/doctor privacy and how exactly it should or should not be done. The question is extremely important in this case because there is a doctor that is ostensibly killing patients through his own malpractice or the malpractice of his staff, if not both. To be sure, the ostensible odds of Kendra’s mother dying or at least having complications are 33% or nearly 100%, respectively. The American Health Information Code of Ethics would seem to stipulate that while only blowing the whistle to family members or friends would be unethical but that doing so for the health of all patients in general would absolutely be called for. However, there are legal issues here as HIPAA and other laws are potentially going to be violated as a result. However, if Kendra follows the right avenues she will be better off. For example, if Kendra told her mother to not have the surgery but didn’t offer details why, that would be better but immediately going to the proper authorities and licensing boards and having all surgeries halted until an investigation could be conducted would be the best way (Medical Malpractice, 2014).

However, that is not what happened. It obviously registers with Sue that the way Kendra initially revealed this was improper but the ultimate problem is that patients are dying or having complications entirely too much after these surgeries and something must be done. Sue and Kendra should both make reports of the problems to the proper authorities. Kendra made several violations including looking at charts and such without the medical need to do so, not to mention she is not a doctor, and she divulged the information to a person that did not have a “right to know,” at least not at the level that was divulged to her (AACAP, 2014).

From Sue’s point-of-view, it would seem that Dr. Russell only seems to be focusing on the one death because of pending litigation when he should actually be a lot more concerned and careful than that given the two dozen overall deaths that have occurred. From Kendra’s perspective, the aforementioned odds of her mother having complications or dying is sky-high and she has the same overall concerns as Sue about the doctor’s competence. However, despite Kendra’s transgressions, it is crystal clear that Dr. Russell’s ostensible malpractice is the overarching issue here and both Sue and Kendra should approach the licensing board and other proper authorities and make them aware of the beyond unacceptable level of complications and deaths that are occurring. Gastric bypass is by no means completely safe but the level of problems being experienced by Dr. Russell is by not acceptable by any means or measure as the overall rate for complications in gastric bypass are usually less than ten percent, let alone deaths. Even lower-skill surgeons see rates only in the teens (Birkmeyer, 2013).


It is clear from the case study that Kendra’s heart was in the right place but her reaction to the problem broke a number of ethical rules as well as laws punishable by both criminal and civil penalties, not to mention the loss of her job or the ability to find a similar one. Kendra absolutely should have taken action but she needed to use the proper channels. Warning her mother could be done in a way that is not specific but still to the point such as simply telling her that she needs to put it off or simply not do it and the reasons behind this are more than sufficient to give her cause. It is reasonable and almost expected that Dr. Russell will lose his license to practice medicine as something is obviously terribly wrong with his practices and procedures.


AACAP. (2014, July 11). Know Your Rights: Consent and Confidentiality. Know Your

Rights: Consent and Confidentiality. Retrieved July 11, 2014, from


AMA. (2014, July 11). AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics. AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics.

Retrieved July 11, 2014, from

Birkmeyer, J. (2013, January 1). Surgical Skill and Complication Rates after Bariatric

Surgery. NEJM. New England Journal of Medicine. Retrieved July 11, 2014,


Medical Malpractice. (2014, July 11). How to Report Doctor or Hospital Malpractice or Unsafe Practices | Retrieved July 11, 2014, from

What Will You Get?

We provide professional writing services to help you score straight A’s by submitting custom written assignments that mirror your guidelines.

Premium Quality

Get result-oriented writing and never worry about grades anymore. We follow the highest quality standards to make sure that you get perfect assignments.

Experienced Writers

Our writers have experience in dealing with papers of every educational level. You can surely rely on the expertise of our qualified professionals.

On-Time Delivery

Your deadline is our threshold for success and we take it very seriously. We make sure you receive your papers before your predefined time.

24/7 Customer Support

Someone from our customer support team is always here to respond to your questions. So, hit us up if you have got any ambiguity or concern.

Complete Confidentiality

Sit back and relax while we help you out with writing your papers. We have an ultimate policy for keeping your personal and order-related details a secret.

Authentic Sources

We assure you that your document will be thoroughly checked for plagiarism and grammatical errors as we use highly authentic and licit sources.

Moneyback Guarantee

Still reluctant about placing an order? Our 100% Moneyback Guarantee backs you up on rare occasions where you aren’t satisfied with the writing.

Order Tracking

You don’t have to wait for an update for hours; you can track the progress of your order any time you want. We share the status after each step.


Areas of Expertise

Although you can leverage our expertise for any writing task, we have a knack for creating flawless papers for the following document types.

Areas of Expertise

Although you can leverage our expertise for any writing task, we have a knack for creating flawless papers for the following document types.


Trusted Partner of 9650+ Students for Writing

From brainstorming your paper's outline to perfecting its grammar, we perform every step carefully to make your paper worthy of A grade.

Preferred Writer

Hire your preferred writer anytime. Simply specify if you want your preferred expert to write your paper and we’ll make that happen.

Grammar Check Report

Get an elaborate and authentic grammar check report with your work to have the grammar goodness sealed in your document.

One Page Summary

You can purchase this feature if you want our writers to sum up your paper in the form of a concise and well-articulated summary.

Plagiarism Report

You don’t have to worry about plagiarism anymore. Get a plagiarism report to certify the uniqueness of your work.

Free Features $66FREE

  • Most Qualified Writer $10FREE
  • Plagiarism Scan Report $10FREE
  • Unlimited Revisions $08FREE
  • Paper Formatting $05FREE
  • Cover Page $05FREE
  • Referencing & Bibliography $10FREE
  • Dedicated User Area $08FREE
  • 24/7 Order Tracking $05FREE
  • Periodic Email Alerts $05FREE

Our Services

Join us for the best experience while seeking writing assistance in your college life. A good grade is all you need to boost up your academic excellence and we are all about it.

  • On-time Delivery
  • 24/7 Order Tracking
  • Access to Authentic Sources
Academic Writing

We create perfect papers according to the guidelines.

Professional Editing

We seamlessly edit out errors from your papers.

Thorough Proofreading

We thoroughly read your final draft to identify errors.


Delegate Your Challenging Writing Tasks to Experienced Professionals

Work with ultimate peace of mind because we ensure that your academic work is our responsibility and your grades are a top concern for us!

Check Out Our Sample Work

Dedication. Quality. Commitment. Punctuality

All samples
Thesis/Thesis chapter
Research paper
Essay (any type)
creating a Code of Conduct
View this sample
Research paper
Week 1 Journal Assignment
Undergrad. (yrs 3-4)
Human Resources Management (HRM)
View this sample
Research paper
Cultural Intelligence Presentation
View this sample
Research paper
Communicable Disease
View this sample
Research paper
Mental health
View this sample
Essay (any type)
Personalized Glossary of Research and Assessment Terms
View this sample

It May Not Be Much, but It’s Honest Work!

Here is what we have achieved so far. These numbers are evidence that we go the extra mile to make your college journey successful.


Happy Clients


Words Written This Week


Ongoing Orders


Customer Satisfaction Rate

Process as Fine as Brewed Coffee

We have the most intuitive and minimalistic process so that you can easily place an order. Just follow a few steps to unlock success.

See How We Helped 9000+ Students Achieve Success


We Analyze Your Problem and Offer Customized Writing

We understand your guidelines first before delivering any writing service. You can discuss your writing needs and we will have them evaluated by our dedicated team.

  • Clear elicitation of your requirements.
  • Customized writing as per your needs.

We Mirror Your Guidelines to Deliver Quality Services

We write your papers in a standardized way. We complete your work in such a way that it turns out to be a perfect description of your guidelines.

  • Proactive analysis of your writing.
  • Active communication to understand requirements.

We Handle Your Writing Tasks to Ensure Excellent Grades

We promise you excellent grades and academic excellence that you always longed for. Our writers stay in touch with you via email.

  • Thorough research and analysis for every order.
  • Deliverance of reliable writing service to improve your grades.
Place an Order Start Chat Now