Confidentiality: a critique of the traditional view

Nursing Ethics 4 (5):403-406 (1997)

Abstract

‘Confidentiality’ can become a somewhat embellishing signboard for paternalistic caring. In essence, one needs to distinguish between confidentiality as a respectful attitude to a patient/client, where it becomes credible that the caring professional will not misuse the information he or she obtains about the patient/client, and between confidentiality misused as an instrument of power to keep the patient/client outside of processes in which it might be important or advantageous for him or her to participate.

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