Confidentiality can be legal and also an ethical in Nursing profession. The protection of private information that you gathered about a patient during the provision of health care services to the patient.(Privacy and Confidentiality, American Nurses Association)
According to the code of Nurses”The nurse protects the patient right to privacy by exercising careful precautions on confidential information”. In the Nurses Code there are acknowledged exceptions to the obligation of confidentiality.
These include in the discussion of the care of patients and the other ancillary involved in direct patient care,in quality assurance activities and when the law allows disclosure of information. The Code will also allows disclosure of information without the consent of the patient when there is danger.
Nurses may be ordered by the court to disclose information without the consent of the patient because while some professions have statutorily protected privileges nursing profession does not. It is very important for nurses to understand their legal limitations because the principle of Confidentiality is protected by the State,and Federal Statutes with some limitations and exceptional situations.
In the opposite of Confidentiality through the statutes of common there are situations that must be reported by health care professionals. This is known as DUTY TO REPORT.
Healthcare must report Child abuse,Rape victims, Gunshots wound,Communicable diseases and threats towards a third.
Each state law varies and it is the responsibility of the Healthcare institutions to abide by the Nursing Code.