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Whatever Happened to Clinical Privacy: Article Analysis Essay

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The articles selected for analysis discuss the problem of ethical principles and information disclosure in healthcare. “Whatever Happened to Clinical Privacy” by Freeny (2007) describes the problem of ethical principles and norms in psychotherapy. The author states that privacy and protection of clinical information should be the core of ethical issues introduced in a healthcare setting.

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Special attention is given to legal and moral principles of psychotherapy. The article “Managed Care” by M., Mattson and M. Brann, M (2004) describes the problem of information pricy in managed care and understanding of ethical issues by medical professionals. The main problems identified by the authors are lack of confidentiality and privacy, neglect of duties and responsibilities by medical professionals. The article states that over the last decade, researchers examined the problem of emotional experiences by both inducing disclosure and examining disclosure in individuals’ day-to-day lives.

Both works are credible and objective published in peer-reviewed journals. Both of these articles do not need “fact check” because they are based on literature reviews and substantial analysis of the problems. The main points of interest are that disclosing personal issues has been found to promote health, well-being, and certain personal behavior patterns. There is theoretical evidence that emotions and attitudes affect the health of patients. The main negative factors of the disclosure are distress, negative moods, and depression. The results of the articles based on a meta-analysis of well-being and written disclosure studies underline the negative effect of violation of privacy in healthcare organizations.

The articles inform audiences about problems and causes of information disclosure in healthcare and provide solutions to information privacy. “Rules governing the sharing of confidential information range on a continuum from loosely to tightly controlled” (Mattson and Brann 2004, p. 337).

Special attention is given to two different types of information disclosure: talking and writing, The researchers found that written disclosure may finally prove more useful than the interpersonally based disclosure process. It seems the lack of ethical principles and rules interferes with the development of a personal narrative and the assimilation of traumatic memories. Disclosing about the traumatic event to the third party may force the transduction of the memories from components into an organized, linguistic type

I agree with the authors that information disclosure is a problem of healthcare organizations caused by a lack of moral principles and norms. Disclosure about traumatic events makes possible several processes considered central in the treatment of psychological disorders, specifically: the conditioning of memories related to the traumatic event from emotional reactions. I agree with the authors that written or oral information disclosure is necessary as conditioning of traumatic memories and reactions will not occur merely through experiencing some memories (, as affective and sensory frame separate from the rest of memory.

In the complex managed care environment, the issue of access becomes much more complicated than in traditional health care systems, and the decision rules about privacy expand beyond the individual patient and physician to other members of the managed care organization and the external environment” (Mattson and Brann 2004, p. 337). The process of information disclosure produces extremely negative effects by concentrating on personal life events and emotions.

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Ethical and moral issues should be the core of any profession and a part of the communication process of patients. The problem is that information disclosure leads to modification of the terror associated with the trauma, in turn facilitating the traumatic recall. The main question is “How to control information disclosure and how to punish healthcare professionals involved in information disclosure?”


Freeny, M. (2007). Whatever Happened to Clinical Privacy? Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association, 10 (2), 12.

Mattson, M., Brann, M. (2004). Managed Care and the Paradox of Patient Confidentiality: A Case Study Analysis from a Communication Boundary Management Perspective. Communication Studies, 53 (3), 337.

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