Laws 310 Chapter 2
Resolve this ethical dilemma posed by Carl Kaufmann of Du Pont: 89 Assume that federal health investigators are pursuing a report that one of your manufacturing plants has a higher-than-average incidence of cancer among its employees. The plant happens to keep excellent medical records on all its employees, stretching back for decades, which might help identify the source of the problem. The government demands the files. But if the company turns them over, it might be accused of violating the privacy of all those workers who had submitted to private medical exams. The company offers an abstract of the records, but the government insists on the complete files, with employee names. Then the company tries to obtain releases from all the workers, but some of them refuse. If you give the records to the feds, the company has broken its commitment of confidentiality. What would you do?
In this case the Hippa Law would come into effect. The HIPAA Privacy Rule states exceptions to your ability to authorize release of your secure health information. One of them being the following: The flow of your medical information is beyond your control when the disclosure is made by a protected entity to or in association with: An employer to (1) conduct workplace medical surveillance or (2) to evaluate whether you have a work-related illness or injury.HHS, a federal government agency, may have access to your health records in connection with an investigation. http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs8a-hipaa.htm#7 This would place Du Pont in a position to provide the records without the releases without breaking the commitment of confidentiality.