"Breaching Confidentiality to Protect Others" Topic of Catawba Valley Medical Center's March 'Conversations in Ethics'

Catawba Valley Medical Center invites healthcare professionals and the community to attend the next ‘Conversations in Ethics’ to be held from 12 noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, March 18 in the Northwest AHEC Lecture Hall, Room 112. This monthly, no-charge meeting provides an opportunity for discussion of some of the most important issues facing the healthcare profession today.

This month’s case study is called “Breaching Confidentiality to Protect Others.” Bob has attended the genito-urinary clinic at his local Trust hospital. Bob is seen by Dr. Gomez who informs him that he is HIV positive. Dr. Gomez counsels Bob to contact his sexual partners to inform them of his status and Bob starts a course of treatment. For the last 18 months Bob has been in a relationship with Sue with whom he is expecting a baby in two months. Before this relationship Bob had a series of sexual partners. On a subsequent visit to the clinic it becomes clear to Dr. Gomez that Bob has not told Sue of his HIV status. Because Dr. Gomez is aware of the impending arrival of their baby, he tells Bob that steps should be taken to assess whether Sue is HIV positive and whether the baby is at risk so that necessary treatment may be started. Bob adamantly refuses to tell Sue and says that if she is told without his consent, he will stop his course of treatment.

Among the questions to be discussed at the session may be: What should Dr. Gomez do? Can or should he inform Sue, or Bob’s physician?

A free lunch will be served to those who register no later than Tuesday, March 16, 2010 by calling Glenda Fowler at 828/326-3365.

Catawba Valley Medical Center’s Department of Organizational Learning is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the North Carolina Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Completion of this activity provides 1.0 contact hour.

Catawba Valley Medical Center is a not-for-profit, public healthcare system providing and promoting the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of the public in addition to serving as a center for health education, wellness services, preventative medicine and acute care. CVMC, three times recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet facility, was recently named as a “Distinguished Hospital for An Outstanding InPatient Experience” by J.D. Power and Associates as well as a Hospital of Choice by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers.