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AIDS: Crisis in Professional Ethics

Michael Elliot; Davis Cohen

Publication Year: 1994

"[S]tudents and professionals, [as well as] the general reader will find much food for thought." —Publishers Weekly *Do patients have the right to know their physician's HIV status? *Can a dentist refuse treatment to an HIV-positive patient? *How do educators determine whether to allow an HIV-positive child to attend school, and if they do, should the parents of other children be informed? *Should a counselor break confidentiality by disclosing to a wife that her husband is infected with HIV? This collection of original essays carefully examines the difficult moral choices the AIDS pandemic has presented for many professionals—physicians, nurses, dentists, teachers and school administrators, business managers, psychotherapists, lawyers, clergy, journalists, and politicians. In the workplace, problems posed by HIV and AIDS have led to a reexamination of traditional codes of ethics. Providing systematic and reasoned discussions, the authors explore the moral, legal, and ethical issues involved in the reconsideration of policies, standards of conduct, and the practicality of balancing personal and professional ethics.

Published by: Temple University Press


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pp. v-vi

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pp. 1-26

This collection of original essays addresses some of the important problems we have come to group under the short name "AIDS." It differs from most works on AIDS in two related ways. First , its focus is on the moral choices of individual practitioners rather than no empirical research or social policy. Second, the practitioners whose problems ...

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1. AIDS: Moral Dilemmas for Physicians

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pp. 27-50

Since its discovery a little more than a decade ago, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) has been responsible for the deaths of over 130,000 Americans, with more than 200,000 currently diagnosed with clinical AIDS, a disease that no one has yet survived.1 More than one million Americans are infected with the human immunodeficiency ...

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2. Nursing and AIDS: Some Special Challenges

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pp. 51-74

The pandemic of HIV infection has challenged society generally and the health-care system in particular. If statements such as Allen McCrutchan's are true in general, they are particularly true of health-care practitioners, and most true of nurses, who must provide constant , complex, and intimate physical and emotional care for persons ...

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3. The Dentist's Obligation to Treat Patients with HIV: A Patient's Perspectives

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pp. 75-94

I am not a dentist, dental hygienist, dental assistant, dental clerk, dental lab technician, or even a professor of dentistry. I am a philosopher whose work with professional ethics has focused on lawyering, engineering, and other nonmedical professions. Why then do I write about dental ethics? I am a dental patient.1 Like other such patients, I ...

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4. HIV and the Professional Responsibility of the Early Childhood Educator

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pp. 95-114

From 1984 to 1989, I served as a consultant to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Working with Stephanie Feeney, a leading scholar in early childhood education (ECE), our task was to develop a code of ethics for the field in a way that would generate a sense of ownership among its 60,000 members. ...

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5. AIDS in the Workplace: Options and Responsibilities

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pp. 115-128

Statistics indicate that, while few of us will experience AIDS in private or family life, many will experience AIDS in the workplace. AIDS raises at least three fundamental questions for a manager: How should an employee with AIDS be treated? How should other employees be informed about AIDS and their safety and morale insured? How should ...

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6. Leading by Example: AIDS Policy and the University's Social

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pp. 129-148

The impact of AIDS on American society is pervasive. It is now generally understood that AIDS represents a health threat that transcends social class, sexual orientation, and other categories with which it was identified in its early history. Moreover, universities and colleges have, for the, most part, accepted an educational function with respect ...

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7. What Would a Virtuous Counselor Do? Ethical Problems in Counseling Clients with HIV

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pp. 149-176

As the AIDS pandemic continues to escalate, counselors are increasingly confronting ethically hard cases involving clients who have HIV.1 This chapter addresses some of these cases. First, three paradigmatic cases involving HIV-seropositive clients are presented. Second, a conceptual analysis of a virtuous counsel or is developed, to be used as a basis for addressing these cases. The ...

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8. The Attorney, the Client with HIV, and the Duty to Warn

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pp. 177-197

Attorneys can be of great help to those with HIV infection. They can help with such complicated matters as estate planning and securing medical benefits. They can also help to protect the rights of HIV-infected persons who encounter various forms of discrimination. In states that have made intentionally exposing another person to HIV ...

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9. AIDS: A Transformative Challenge for Clergy

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pp. 197-208

For the last thirty years, significant Christian and Jewish thinkers have all argued that the unthinkable event of the holocaust has been transformative in shaping the way theology has been done. An event of unspeakable evil has required religious thinkers to find a new vocabulary and take risks in dialogue that were inconceivable before ...

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10. Journalistic Responsibilities and AIDS

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pp. 209-228

The emergence of AIDS as a major threat to public health raises fundamental questions about the responsibilities of journalists. Any major threat to public health is sufficiently newsworthy to warrant extensive media coverage. The public depends on the media for reliable, comprehensive, and comprehensible information about such threats. Also, insofar as it is available, the media should provide ...

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11. AIDS and a Politician's Right to Privacy

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pp. 229-252

What are a politician's privacy rights in this AIDS crisis? What are his or her duties? These questions have become prominent as more and more of the public have begun to ask politicians and other persons to disclose their HIV status. On the one hand, politicians have an interest in determining what personal information is presented to the public. ...

A Bibliography on AIDS and Professional Ethics

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pp. 253-270

About the Contributors

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pp. 271-274


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pp. 275-276

E-ISBN-13: 9781439901021

Publication Year: 1994