kiwibasket

Sushi Roller
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May 26, 2006
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My two possible scenarios - I am unsure of which is better...one has a little more to do with medicine in that it discusses confidentiality agreements, but it's also less of a direct dilemma since I had organizational guidelines for dealing with it.

1) My favorite childhood posession was a beautiful handmade dollhouse that I got for christmas when I was 7. I was planning on giving it to my children and kept it in great shape at my parents house. My parents are currently in the process of moving and selling our old house. During the open house last week, an older woman was found sobbing in my room at the sight of the dollhouse. Apparently it was made by her husband and son for her young daughter and many years later, after a nasty divorce, they moved across country. She was very tight on money and sold the dollhouse to my mom. The family later severely regretted the decision and now consider the dollhouse to be a precious family heirloom. 16 years later - by pure coincidence, they found it in OUR house and asked me if they could have it back. It was very hard for me to give up something I valued so much and hoped to have for the rest of my life, especially since they had sold it in the first place, but I decided after much thought they should have it back.

2) I worked for many years as a peer counselor at an on-campus sexual health support center. One particular day I counseled a young woman who revealed that she had cheated on her partner and since contracted an STI. She was unsure if she wanted to tell her partner, as she was afraid he would leave her. As we were non-directive counselors, I tried my best to explain to her the possible risks for his health if she didn't tell him, and also tried to stress the importance of honesty in relationships, but she was determined to keep her secret. While we had a confidentiality policy backed by the idea that we didn't know the NAMES of our clients, it was a very small school and I knew both her and her partner from other circumstances. Later that month her partner (who I was sort of friends with) spoke to me personally, concerned he had an STI. He asked questions that led to information about whether the infection could have been an older one he had never noticed before, insistant that his current partner was clean and they were monogamous. I decided, despite the difficulty in the situation, to uphold the confidentiality agreement and not reveal to him what I knew or say anything to him about his partner. I don't know how the situation turned out as they both graduated.
 

Depakote

Pediatric Anesthesiologist
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kiwibasket said:
My two possible scenarios - I am unsure of which is better...one has a little more to do with medicine in that it discusses confidentiality agreements, but it's also less of a direct dilemma since I had organizational guidelines for dealing with it.

1) My favorite childhood posession was a beautiful handmade dollhouse that I got for christmas when I was 7. I was planning on giving it to my children and kept it in great shape at my parents house. My parents are currently in the process of moving and selling our old house. During the open house last week, an older woman was found sobbing in my room at the sight of the dollhouse. Apparently it was made by her husband and son for her young daughter and many years later, after a nasty divorce, they moved across country. She was very tight on money and sold the dollhouse to my mom. The family later severely regretted the decision and now consider the dollhouse to be a precious family heirloom. 16 years later - by pure coincidence, they found it in OUR house and asked me if they could have it back. It was very hard for me to give up something I valued so much and hoped to have for the rest of my life, especially since they had sold it in the first place, but I decided after much thought they should have it back.

2) I worked for many years as a peer counselor at an on-campus sexual health support center. One particular day I counseled a young woman who revealed that she had cheated on her partner and since contracted an STI. She was unsure if she wanted to tell her partner, as she was afraid he would leave her. As we were non-directive counselors, I tried my best to explain to her the possible risks for his health if she didn't tell him, and also tried to stress the importance of honesty in relationships, but she was determined to keep her secret. While we had a confidentiality policy backed by the idea that we didn't know the NAMES of our clients, it was a very small school and I knew both her and her partner from other circumstances. Later that month her partner (who I was sort of friends with) spoke to me personally, concerned he had an STI. He asked questions that led to information about whether the infection could have been an older one he had never noticed before, insistant that his current partner was clean and they were monogamous. I decided, despite the difficulty in the situation, to uphold the confidentiality agreement and not reveal to him what I knew or say anything to him about his partner. I don't know how the situation turned out as they both graduated.
The second one.

Your first one, while difficult personally, is not a conflict of values. You did not have to make a tough right v. wrong decision. In the second one, you had to decide whether to uphold a code or tell this man that he had a STI b/c he had been cheated on. This is the inner conflict inherient in ethical decisions. Describe it.
 
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Haemulon

Slippery When Wet
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Jun 1, 2006
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Definitely the second one. Issues like that come up all the time in health care, so its directly relevant.
 
Z

zimmie256

I'll add one more vote for the 2nd option. It seems more relevant to medicine, and also more like something that could lead to an interesting discussion in an interview.
 
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