putting two arguments into standard form, one for a ‘yes’ answer to your topic question and…

In: Nursing

putting two arguments into standard form, one for a ‘yes’ answer to your topic question and…



putting two arguments into standard form, one for a ‘yes’ answer to your topic question and one for a ‘no’ argument to your topic question.

are going to do the Covid Confidentiality question, then you need two arguments with the following conclusions:

‘Yes’ Argument



So, it’s morally permissible for the university to reveal the identity of the Covid-positive employee

‘No’ Argument



So, it’s morally wrong for the university to reveal the identity of the Covid-positive employee

As the instructions say, you’re not writing the paper yet, and you don’t need to explain the arguments in detail. Just identify two arguments for those opposing positions and put them into standard form clearly and precisely. Each argument should be plausible enough to be worth thinking about and should be either an Argument from Principle or an Argument from Analogy. The goal in this episode is not to write the paper; instead, you’re doing a smaller assignment to help you develop ideas that you can later use in your paper.

Disclosing Names of COVID-19 Patients

A member of the institution gets ill after contracting COVID-19, and the president of the institution informs the staff and students about the case. Contact tracing begins to identify the persons who came into contact with the sick institution member. One of the institution members requests that they need to identify the sick patient’s identity to protect themselves better. Revealing the institution member’s name would break the confidentiality with the person and open him or her up to face discrimination as a COVID-19 patient and victim. I argue that the institution member’s name should not be revealed for it will be a breach of confidentiality, and the control of the virus is better achieved while maintaining the confidentiality of patients who have tested positive.

A Prestigious University has undergraduate and graduate colleges, a law school, a university hospital, and a medical school, all in one single campus (Sulmasy & Veatch). The vast private institution called back students to take their belongings during spring break and initiate their classes online. After a week, the institution’s president sent an email to the staff, students, and faculty informing them of a member of the University Staff who had contracted COVID-19 during the transition week (Sulmasy & Veatch). The University staff member was on campus during that week, and contact tracing protocol had begun to identify the individuals that had come to close contact with the patient. Those identified in the close contact list would self-quarantine for fourteen days to observe any COVID-19 symptoms (Sulmasy & Veatch). A Philosophy Department’s professor posed the question of whether the staff member’s name should be revealed to the community to help control the virus’s spread (Sulmasy & Veatch).

The professor’s proposition to reveal the University staff member’s identity would amount to a confidentiality breach. Revealing of names of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 does little to curb the virus’s spread. In any case, it would make the control measures for the virus even difficult to achieve. Fewer people would report their positive cases if it meant that their names would be made public. Besides, the virus not only spreads by person-to-person contact but also contact with contaminated surfaces. Based on these reasons, the professor is not justified in revealing the names of patients who have tested positive for the disease unless a substantive case supporting the proposed strategy is presented.

Medical practitioners are governed by ethics and bioethics, compelling them not to reveal the medical information or history to the public. Even when asked by the patients themselves, which are very rare, healthcare providers would less likely breach patient confidentiality ethics. Suggesting that those who test positive for COVID-19 should reveal themselves to the public would mean that healthcare practitioners should act against their set bioethics, which would be very unprofessional. Even though the virus is deadly, it has resulted in a pandemic experience in the past with other diseases but at a lower scale, like the Influenza pandemic. During that pandemic, the control measures did not involve revealing the patient’s names, yet the disease was reduced to controllable levels. There are better means to control the spread of the virus, and they would not require the breach of confidentiality by revealing patients’ names in public.

A large educational institution like the one described above would have quite many people interacting in one day. It would be difficult for an individual to recall all the persons they interacted with together with their names. People are often forgetful of other’s names, especially if they are meeting for the first time. Even though the public is provided with the name of the University staff member, they have forgotten whether they came into contact with the infected person. Also, they might not be sure whether they had close contact with the named person. Such forgetfulness would not benefit the efforts of contact tracing even after breaching the confidentiality of the patients.

Public naming of individuals testing positive for COVID-19 would deter most people from coming forward for testing or reporting to the institution’s management for contact tracing to follow suit. If more people abscond from testing, and revealing their health status for fear of breach of privacy and confidentiality, then the contact tracing and virus control measures are thwarted. Such a case would also increase the virus’s spread since there will be more close contact without caution bearing in mind that some individuals may present as asymptomatic. The public naming that would have been instigated to promote safety and protection would eventually lead to more positive cases and contribute less to the goal of suppressing the virus spread.

Apart from close contact, individuals can also contract the virus by touching contaminated surfaces. Such cases of virus spread are difficult to identify with contact tracing. Also, in such a case, public naming would benefit little to curb the disease spread. Firstly, people may not remember if they saw such a person within their vicinity, bearing in mind the large number of people that could be present in a large Prestigious University. Secondly, it is not easy to identify a contaminated surface or the person in contact with such a surface at any given time. Even if the names are made known to the public, the virus spread from contaminated surfaces may not be addressed.

Despite the argument presented above, there are supporting points for the public naming of COVID-19 patients according to the professor’s proposition. Certain circumstances would call for patient’s disclosure of their illness to the public if the other individuals stand a chance of contracting the illness. Such a case is presented by the current pandemic, which poses death risks when contracting the virus. However, public naming would require the consent of the patient to disclose personal information to the public. Besides, the action would save the lives of others to exercise caution in the community.

The decision to breach confidentiality in public naming to protect the society members would be controversial but beneficial. Take a case where a HIV patient is disgusted by their diagnosis and seek to avenge by spreading the virus to other people. The HIV patient takes counseling sessions and confides their motives to the psychologist. In an act to honor ethics, the psychologist fails to inform the public to warn them of the impending danger if they get into contact with the vengeful patient. Later on, cases of HIV and HIV-related mortality rates spike in the community to which the vengeful patient is part. The psychologist would be liable for the lives lost, and patients added to the list of HIV positive cases due to failure to warn the community members.

The situation is similar to the analogy or case at hand. The rest of the University staff members and individuals in the community are at risk of contracting the virus from the sick staff member. A lack of information about an immediate threat to their lives would be their greatest undoing. Few people would be identified through contact tracing as the individual may not recall or know all the persons they came in contact with in the past week. Thus, the staff member should consent to make their identification public to trace more people and protect the rest of the faculty, staff, and community members. A tough decision would have to be made if consent is not provided. The decision would depend on the exposure risk involved for individuals to exercise more caution and the estimated number of persons that could have been affected. Such a decision would best be arrived at with the advice and presence of a physician. The duty to protect the public could balance off with confidentiality ethics.

The decision of public naming boils down to a debate on protecting the confidentiality and the public’s safety from the virus. It is argued that public naming is unnecessary as it breaches confidentiality, deters others from reporting their positive status, may not improve contact tracing, and may not address virus spread from contaminated surfaces. A counterargument presents that public naming is beneficial for the community’s protection and safety from contracting the deadly virus from the patient. Any decision chosen amongst the two would require compromises that are either accepted or unwelcomed by different factions. The burden of making such a decision lies with the physician and the infected University staff member.

Work Cited

Sulmasy, Daniel P., and Robert M. Veatch. “Should Institutions Disclose the Names of Employees with Covid‐19?.” Hastings Center Report (2020).

I hope that helps. I look forward to seeing what you come up with

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