George has gonorrhea. He does not want his wife to find out, but he wants to protect her from the disease. He asks their family doctor to test his wife without her knowledge. When the wife comes in for her annual Pap smear, the physician tests her for gonorrhea, saying, “I just want to run another test on you to rule out a possibility.” He finds that she has been infected and treats her without telling her the diagnosis. He merely tells her, “I want you to take these antibiotics as a precaution.”
Question 1: Would the physician have violated George’s confidentiality if the physician had told his wife she tested positive for gonorrhea? Why or why not?
Dr. Smith has been the Jones’s family doctor for more than 20 years. He is shocked when Mary, the 16-year-old daughter, tests positive for gonorrhea. He is appalled that she has had premarital sex and informs her parents of her condition.
Question 2: Based on the assigned reading, how might Dr. Smith’s actions affect the good of the profession and the good of society?