Larry has attended the clinic at his local hospital. Larry is seen by Dr. Fisher

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Larry has attended the clinic at his local hospital. Larry is seen by Dr. Fisher who informs him that he is HIV positive. Dr. Fisher counsels Larry about the diagnosis and advises Larry to contact his sexual partners to inform them of his status. Larry starts a course of treatment.
For the last 18 months Larry has been in a relationship with Kristen. They are expecting a baby in 2 months’ time. Before this relationship Larry had a series of sexual partners.
On a subsequent visit to the clinic, it becomes clear to Dr Fisher that Larry has not told Kristen of his HIV status. Dr Fisher is aware of the impending arrival of their baby and tells Larry that steps should be taken to assess whether Kristen is HIV positive and whether the baby is at risk so that necessary treatment may be started.
Larry adamantly refuses to tell Kristen and says that if she is told without his consent then he will stop his course of treatment.
Answer the following questions:
1. If Larry stated that he was going to have a dental surgery next week – could Dr. Fisher disclose his HIV status to Larry’s dentist?
2. Balancing the need for privacy against the right to know – what is your recommendation – What should Dr. Fisher do? Should Dr. Fisher inform Kristen?

In terms of organizing this assignment, we will be using the I-R-A-C method again.
Your issue statement should be: The issue at hand relates to the privacy rights of Larry. Specifically, can Larry’s medical doctor disclose his HIV+ status to his dentist and can Larry’s medical doctor disclose his HIV+ status to his partner and soon-to-be mother of his child?
In your rule section – be sure to clearly articulate the rules for this scenario. Note – there will likely be different rules for Larry’s dentist and Larry’s partner. Include any relevant ethical principles here that may also guide your decision-making.
In your analysis section – apply these rules to the facts of this case. There should be a clear application for both the dentist and the partner.
In your conclusion section – including a recommendation for each of the questions. Should Dr. Fisher tell the dentist – Should Dr. Fisher tell Larry’s partner. As always, and part of the reason we are using IRAC – your answers should go beyond just your opinion

 

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