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Public Health Case Study Analysis on Health Legislation



Write a literature essay on the “Representation of Race in Aime Cesaire’s “Notebook of a Return to the Native Land”


Public Health Case study 1

The quality of life of the person affected by HIV is often being affected which includes low social participation and lack of social acceptance. It can further impact the mental wellbeing of the person suffering from HIV and the person is prone to developing other medical conditions. In this regard, it is of utmost importance to treat the patient suffering from HIV to improve the quality of life and paying due attention to the sensitive nature of dealing with it requires.

Answer A:
The first legal issue that is involved is that no person has the right to endanger the life of others. In other words, people infected with HIV should take necessary precautions so that the transmission should take place in the sexual partner. The second legal issue is the disclosure of the health record of the patient without its consent. The doctor must uphold the confidentiality of the patient unless it is required under the law. The privacy act of 1993 was enacted to promote an individual's privacy. The act describes what is called personal information concerning an individual. The law is well applicable to HIV patients given the confidentiality of the details of the person suffering from HIV. The law describes the circumstances in which public health information can be shared and it grants access to individuals regarding its health records (Privacy Act 1993, 2020). Health and disability commissioner act are applicable here which protects persons with disabilities from discrimination. There is a stigma which is attached to HIV patients which results in discrimination in society hence HIV is being covered in the open-ended definition of disability (, 2020). The legislation helps in providing a link between HIV and disability.

Answer B:

The ethical issue of confidentiality is involved as the medical information related to the person is restricted by law to be shared in public. Given the highly sensitive nature of the information, extra safeguards are being provided to keep the health information safe. The sharing of information regarding the health condition can only take place if there are chances of people getting infected with it (Hlongwa, 2016). There a potential conflict between the right to confidentiality and the risk of other persons getting infected. Confidentiality is of paramount importance for the person who is infected with HIV to prevent any form of discrimination. The right of the person to have confidentiality is not absolute; the right may be legally limited in cases where other parties are at risk. The data collection procedure should indicate the steps to be taken to protect the personal health information related to HIV-positive persons.

The sharing of personal health information of people affected with HIV may lead to discrimination in society. There is a greater amount of stigma is attached regarding HIV positive people in society. It can lead to the development of a negative attitude among people concerning the HIV positive person endangering the well-being of the person. It can cause internalized stigma in the HIV-infected person which can further lead to developing depression in the person (, 2020). It can lead to the development of bias against a person by marking the person as socially unacceptable. There is a lack of information about the HIV disease among the general population which makes them hesitant regarding interacting with an HIV-positive person as they see it as a taboo (, 2020). An HIV positive finds it difficult to merge into the society and become part of it because of the low social acceptance and the stigma attached to HIV (CDC, 2020)

Answer 3:

The ethical principle of autonomy applies to the person affected by HIV. Individual autonomy involves preserving the freedom of decision-making by an individual who may be in a vulnerable position. It revolves around respecting people's confidentiality and the decision they make. A person having HIV should decide to decide whether they want to share their health information with others or not (Quinlivan et al., 2013). The confidentiality of the HIV infected person must be maintained and no interference in the personal decision of the person should be made as the person has full autonomy with regards to itself. The principle of autonomy must apply to HIV testing. For instance, carrying out antiretroviral treatment in HIV patients must be based on autonomy. A person can deny the treatment based on his autonomy.

It involves acting in the best possible interest of the individual. It contains improving the life quality of a person living with HIV. It looks around the social factors like physical and mental health report. The mental health measure evaluates the mental well-being of the individual suffering from HIV. The social relationship has a very important role to play. A positive social relationship helps in good mental health and lower chances of developing depression while a negative social relationship has a poor impact on the mental health of a person. For instance, the doctor treating the HIV patient must not leave the patient to solve his problem and should act in the best possible interest of the patient (Avant & Swetz, 2020).

It involves not harming the individual in any possible manner. A person diagnosed with HIV faces the stigma attached to HIV. Due to the increased stigma attached to it, the person suffering may avoid the necessary checkups and testing. For instance, the doctor treating the person must not abandon the person owing to his health condition and they should reflect on their action whether it is causing any harm to the patient (Ellis, 2020).

Thus, it is clear that the confidentiality of health information regarding HIV patients should be given due importance. The autonomy of the individual suffering from HIV should be given top priority where the person can make his choices free from any kind of coercion. The person suffering from HIV must not be abandoned and efforts should be made to improving the quality of life.

Case study-2

The health information of an individual is related to its dignity and utmost confidentiality is needed to be carried out to protect such information. Disclosure of health information without the prior consent of the person is strictly prohibited by law where it can harm the wellbeing of the person. It can have an adverse impact leading to stigmatization and discrimination in society (Shen et al., 2019). There is a lack of awareness regarding the spillover effects if the health information of a person is compromised. It can lead to depressive tendencies in the individual hampering its growth and development. The relation between the doctor and patient is based on the principle of confidentiality which will get affected if the confidentiality of the person is not taken care of. The confidentiality of the medical history endorses the medical autonomy enjoyed by the individual (World Health Organization, 2020).

Answer 1:
The Health Information Privacy Code 1994 prevents unauthorized disclosure of health information. The code applies to all the health organizations and individuals that are attached to it. It provides all the details regarding the management of public health information. It put certain restrictions on health organizations and individuals regarding the disclosure of health information (Privacy, 2020). It overlaps with the privacy act of 1993. Details regarding the circumstances in which the health information can be revealed are provided. It gives the person the right to access his medical records at any time. Also, section 22 of the health act 1956 contains all the necessary provisions regarding the disclosure of health information. The act provides for the exceptional circumstances in which the information can be shared. It gives a detailed explanation regarding the sharing of health information among individuals, health agencies. The health regulation 1996 provides for the minimum period of 10 years for holding the health information of an individual by the health organizations. It covers all the necessary protocols regard the passing on of the information (Community Law, 2020).

Answer 2:
My recommendation would be that health care assistant must avoid such situation which put other person confidentiality at risk. I will try to educate the health care personnel about the adverse impact it will create in receiving effective medication for the person whose health information is leaked. I will tell him about the principle of confidentiality which prevents the sharing of public health information without the consent of the person. I will work towards increasing the information of the health care assistant about the legislation which prevents the unauthorized disclosure of health information. I will recommend the effective management of health information so that the changes can be reduced to a possible violation of public health data. The person must be told about the sensitivity of health information and the effect it may cause on the doctor-patient relationship (Hackl, Hoerbst & Ammenwerth, 2011). Training of security and accountability needs to be provided in the health care setting. They can be educated about the underlying dignity of an individual whose health information has been compromised and its spillover effects in the form of discrimination and stigmatization in the society which may prevent the individual from seeking early health care access. I will try to give him a previous example of the patients whose health information was compromised and the adverse effects it had on the well-being of the person. All such recommendations are necessary to avoid such happening in the future.

Answer 3:
The health information privacy code 1994, the health act 1956, the health regulation 1996 altogether upholds the medical autonomy of individuals which results in providing them effective medical treatment. These legislations grant due importance to the concept of privacy which is regarded as a basic human right. The legislation promotes the well-being of the individuals by promoting the concept of confidentiality where their due approval is required before sharing any health information related to them (Richardson, Milam & Chrysler, 2015). Leaking of health information can cause stigmatization and discrimination in the society which may force the individual into a depressive tendency (Ministry of Health, 2020). The above legislation makes sure that unauthorized access to health information can be prevented reducing the vulnerability of the individual. The legislation upholds the doctor-patient relationship which is built around trust and sharing of personal information. The legislation grants primacy to the concept of personal autonomy and dignity of the human being. It is generally seen that the person affected by any disease hesitates to come forward due to privacy and confidentiality concerns. Promoting privacy has many spillover effects in the form of greater participation by individuals. For instance, the person suffering from any complication can easily come forward to get the required medication and testing without the fear of getting stigmatized as there is effective legislation in place which prevents the leakage of personal health information. The legislations well recognized the need of protecting the privacy of individuals to uphold an individual's trust in doctors and the health setup of the country (Gibson, 2013). The legislation provides for the storage, handling, and management of the health information and the minimum period for which the data is required to be stored. The legislation provides for the exceptional circumstances in which the public health data can be shared. All of these preventive steps have boosted the confidence of people in the health organization.

The security of public health information and the concerns relating to it will continue to grow in the coming years and effective legislations are required to deal with such concerns. Given the wider impact of compromising health information and confidentiality on the wellbeing of the individual, it is necessary to take steps to avoid unauthorized access to health information which may diminish the individual belief in the health care setting and the ability to seek healthcare access. The health care personnel need to be adequately trained regarding the security and management of public health information.

Avant, L. C., & Swetz, K. M. (2020). Revisiting Beneficence: What Is a ‘Benefit’, and by What Criteria?. The American Journal of Bioethics, 20(3), 75-77.

Community Law. (2020). Privacy and your health information - Community Law. Community Law. Retrieved 14 November 2020, from

Ellis, P. (2020). Ethical concepts and duty-based theories: scope. Journal of Kidney Care, 5(4), 180-182. (2020). Facts about HIV Stigma | HIV Basics | HIV/AIDS | CDC. Retrieved 14 November 2020, from (2020). Getting Involved. Retrieved 14 November 2020, from

Gibson, E. (2013). Public Health Information Privacy and Confidentiality.

Hackl, W. O., Hoerbst, A., & Ammenwerth, E. (2011). Why the hell do we need electronic health records?. Methods of Information in Medicine, 50(01), 53-61.

Hlongwa, P. (2016). Current ethical issues in HIV/AIDS research and HIV/AIDS care. Oral diseases, 22, 61-65.

Ministry of Health. (2020). Legislation. Ministry of Health NZ. Retrieved 14 November 2020, from

Privacy Act 1993. (2020). Privacy Act 1993. Privacy Act 1993. Retrieved 14 November 2020, from (2020). Retrieved 14 November 2020, from

Quinlivan, E. B., Messer, L. C., Adimora, A. A., Roytburd, K., Bowditch, N., Parnell, H., ... & Pierce, J. K. (2013). Experiences with HIV testing, entry, and engagement in care by HIV-infected women of color, and the need for autonomy, competency, and relatedness. AIDS patient care and STDs, 27(7), 408-415.

Richardson, V., Milam, S., & Chrysler, D. (2015). Is sharing de-identified data legal? The state of public health confidentiality laws and their interplay with statistical disclosure limitation techniques. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 43(1_suppl), 83-86.

Shen, N., Bernier, T., Sequeira, L., Strauss, J., Silver, M. P., Carter-Langford, A., & Wiljer, D. (2019). Understanding the patient privacy perspective on health information exchange: a systematic review. International journal of medical informatics, 125, 1-12. (2020). Standing Up to Stigma. Retrieved 14 November 2020, from (2020). The Health and Disability Commissioner Retrieved 14 November 2020, from

World Health Organization. (2020). Retrieved 14 November 2020, from


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