Die opskorting van pasiëntvertroulikheid in Aptekerswese: 'n etiese analise
Kruger, Johannes Petrus, 1958-
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The handling of patient confidentiality in the medical, and more specifically as dealt with in this article, the pharmaceutical profession, is accepted as a given. Confidentiality cannot, however, always be guaranteed. The reason is that, amongst other things, the utilitarian principle of the ‘greatest good for the greatest number of people’ determines that certain exceptions have to be made in order to protect the health of the nation as a whole. Provision is made for exceptions in the Pharmacy Act where confidentiality may be breached. However, there are certain cases which are not provided for in the Act (and Acts change from time to time). This situation makes it necessary for the pharmacist to make moral judgements in specific instances related to specific patients. The objective of this article is to investigate these exceptions within a philosophical framework and to determine what the philosophical basis of such decisions would entail. This article initially will examine the current Pharmacy Act and the exceptions will be discussed that allow for the breaching of patient confidentiality. This will be followed by a brief exposition of modernist ethics and the issue of confidentiality under the headings of the idea of duty as moral imperative, as well as the utility idea. Pluralistic alternatives such as the ethics of virtue, postmodern ethics, and anti-moralism, will be explored as possible solutions to the pharmacist’s dilemma in this regard.
- Humanities