Special Considerations for Research Confidentiality and Privacy in Nursing
Research plays a very crucial role in the progress of medical operations and procedures. There are various aspects that need to be addressed before, during and after the research activities. Some of these activities include ethical and moral considerations. During the research activities, special considerations should be given to issues that deal with the privacy and confidentiality of all information that is acquired and used during the research activities. This is because personal information should be regarded with integrity and the respect it requires (RCN, 2004). Therefore, it is important that the protocols and regulations related to research should be adhered by researchers.
Most of the information that is used in the medical research activities has very sensitive aspects. This is because some of the information is acquired from personal healthcare records of individuals. Consideration to information protection should be prioritized because some of the information should be allowed to get into the public domain. If private information ids allowed to get into the public, the researchers will have violated professional guiding principles. This also implies the rights of the owner of the information may have been violated. The people who are involved in research activities should always understand that issues that are entailed in the research ethics should always take control of the research processes (RCN, 2004).
Disregarding information confidentiality and privacy is an issue that can cause massive social effects (RCN, 2004). This is because if an individual’s health records are allowed to infiltrate the public, this may lead to personal discomfort. The ultimate effect of this is exaggerated psychological stress. This is likely to lead to depression and thus causing other medical conditions. In other cases, leakage of this information may lead to discrimination in the social cycles. This may make people to lose confidence in the research processes. Therefore, ac question of information for the research processes may become very difficult (RCN, 2004).
Genetic Information and Research Ethical Issues
Genetic research and testing is playing an increasing role in medical quality improvement. However, the use and handling of genetic information is subject to massive abuse (Fulda & Lykens, 2006). Genetic information requires to be handled with massive moral and massive considerations. This is because genetic information is very profound as reveal s an individual’s inner physiology. The definition of the genetic information is also very wide as it reveals the whole family’s information. This is because the genetic material is very rich in the content of information about an individual and all the relatives (Fulda & Lykens, 2006).
Unlike other types of information, disclosure of an individual’s genetic information has a wide array of consequences (Fulda & Lykens, 2006). This is because it may to discrimination on various platforms. The most common places of discrimination may include in getting of certain types of employment and acquiring insurance policies. This may also lead to discrimination in certain social places. Some of the genetic conditions may also make an individual to draw a lot of attention in public places. This is likely to lead to a lot stress and depression. This may also go as far as causing discrimination in healthcare facilities.
Genetic research has played a very big role in enhancing understanding the generic makeups of some medical conditions. This is because it has led to the innovation of new methods that are used in the maintenance, promotion and treatment of chronic diseases. Therefore, acquisition and management of genetic information has played a significant role in improving healthcare. Thus, regarding genetic information with the dignity and confidentiality it requires promotes the research practices (Fulda & Lykens, 2006). This is because this can promote the readiness of people with unique genetic conditions to offer their genetic materials to promote these research activities. Nurses a big role to play in safeguarding the dignity of genetics information through upholding its privacy.
Role of Nurses in Protecting Patient’s Ethical Issues
Nurses have a big role to play in protecting patients with respect to enhancing ethical and moral professionalism (CRNBC, 2014). Nurses are at the center of medical administration and dispensation. In this position, nurses play a critical role of conducting diagnosis of patients and checking their records to acquire sufficient medical information. In their ethical and moral principles, nurses have an obligation handle information related to patients with a lot of privacy and confidentiality (RCN, 2004). Therefore, nurses should embrace personal responsibility in protecting their information in healthcare practice and research.
One of the ways through nurses can conduct the privacy of patients is by ensuring that the information is only passed to the authorized experts. Nurses should also keep healthcare information in places where they cannot be easily intruded as part of the strategies of safeguarding the information. During the medical and research operations, nurses should ensure that the people who are involved are authorized to handle the information. It is also very important that nurses respect their moral obligations. This is through collecting the most relevant information (CRNBC, 2014). The information that should be collected should provide knowledge on the research activity and not for any other intention.
Nurses should adhere to the guidelines that are related to information disclosure. Some of the entities that may require medical information include employers, external research institutions and insurance companies. The nurses should safeguard this information and seek consent from the owners of this information. This is very important because it will show respects to the rights of patients. On the hand, after research activities, nurses should safeguard the identities of the individuals who provide the information. Therefore, nurses are very important figures in enhancing patient protection in matters related to information and medical research (CRNBC, 2014).
- CRNBC, (2014). Privacy and Confidentiality. College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia. Retrieved from https://crnbc.ca/Standards/PracticeStandards/pages/privacy.aspx
- Fulda, K. & Lykens, K. (2006). Ethical Issues in Predictive Genetic Testing: A Public Health Perspective. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2564466/
- RCN, (2004). Research Ethics. Royal College of Nursing. Retrieved from http://www.rcn.org.uk