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Medical Disclosure


As patients, we feel a sense of ownership over our private information. We put up
boundaries that prevent us from sharing information we feel doesn't pertain to the conversation.
Our medical boundaries are created based on five categories: culture, gender, motivation, context
and, the risk or benefit ratio. Culture is based on the way our individualistic world looks down on
keeping secrets. On the other hand, collectivistic cultures primary focus is on the negative impact
personal information has on their families, friends or, peers. Next, whether or not valuable
information is shared is determined by the gender of the doctor. As men and women, we feel
more comfortable exposing information to our female doctors. Especially when we have a good
relationship with them. However, gender and motivation disrupt our sharing process when our
secrets are linked to traumatic events. To combat this, we utilize the risk or benefit ratio to share
parts of our secrets, with doctors, to gauge their reaction. Then based on that, as patients, we will
decide if we feel safe enough to disclose the rest of our private information. On the other hand, a
confidant and co-owner relationship between doctors and underage patients involve distraction
methods. While doctors are sharing heavy information, minors are given stickers or candy to
distract them from the conversation.
Once private information is documented in offices, patient's privacy is protected.
Prior consent is the only type of conversation flow that contradicts our privacy boundaries. Many
of us, however, aren’t aware that prior consent isn't needed when we bring another person into
the room. Legally this action is seen as us consenting to that person hearing our private
information. This action is an example of a fuzzy boundary. However, established boundaries are
intentionally breached when our loved ones tell our secrets. Our families do this most often when
they feel that disclosing the information is in our best interest.
Doctor's offices sometimes cross boundaries when they notify us of our test
results. An example of this is when they unknowingly call us in the middle of our workday. This
action results in our private information being overheard by colleagues. In recent years, many
doctors offices have eliminated this form of sharing by transferring to an online database. For
this reason, relationships with our doctors are unique because private information is continuously
being sought out or shared in every interaction.

Apply It

● We as humans visit doctors regularly whether it be for annual checkups or for more
serious matters. When we visit the doctor we instill trust and confidence in our
relationship with our healthcare providers based off of the boundaries that fall into five
categories; Culture , Gender , Motivation , Context and, Risk to Benefit ratio. We feel
more confident disclosing information with one gender over another. This is even true
with doctors that we feel have held up their end of a healthy relationship. HIPAA Laws
protect us from information being shared once it’s been told to our doctors but, it is up
to us to determine if a relationship is confident between us and our doctors.
○ Doctors give kids a sticker, candy, or toy to play with to distract them from
paying attention while getting shots or medical procedures. Children instill trust in
doctors that they are doing medical procedures in good faith through the
connection they make between receiving an item.