Ethical, Legal and Professional Issues In RN HIV Status Disclosure – Essay Example

The paper "Ethical, Legal and Professional Issues In RN HIV Status Disclosure" is a worthy example of an essay on health sciences&medicine.
A registered nurse is a professional worker who deals with not only developing and maintaining the health of other individuals but also works as a live saver. For this reason, nursing as a profession relies more on personal morals which accrue to the ethics of the job, in addition to the legal requirements. In this connection, HIV disclosure by nurses turns out to be a controversial issue. Legally, HIV status disclosure remains on the mandate of the victim regardless of his job position or title (Muula & Mfutso-Bengo 2012). This puts an HIV victim under no legal obligation to disclose his status to anyone.
Professionally, some job tasks assigned to nurses might involve somebody fluid contacts with the patient, which puts the patient at a risk of acquiring the virus from the health provider. In this case, it deems unethical for an HIV positive nurse to perform such a task( O’GRADY, 2011). As a result, professional regulatory bodies might require that John discloses his status to them. It’s worth noting that, this requirement does not obligate, john to disclose his status to his clients or even coworkers, but only to a regulatory body that would not only bar him from performing certain tasks but also legally authorize him to do perform them(Muula & Mfutso-Bengo 2012). As a matter of fact, the disclosure rules vary from one place to another, with Alberta making it mandatory for nurses to disclose their status to, but not limited to the regulatory body. Moreover, even in places where disclosure isn’t mandatory, for the safety of patients, John needs to avoid some special assignments and this might only be achievable if he reveals his status.
Besides, the disclosure of John's status would also make him acquire some privileges, such as ease in acquiring medical leave, sick leave benefits through support from a union or the employer. In a nutshell, ethics and professionalism might require John to reveal his status at least to the regulatory body. However, the extent to which disclosure is a necessity will also depend on the field in which John has specialized in, being more on direct self-care. Moreover, disclosure to the client needs to be screened to avoid the client’s misconception about the therapy being offered.