The tendency to avoid issues around professional ethics is common and multi-determined. Codes of ethics are uniquely boring and hard to remember. Unconsciously, most of us carry shame about clinical situations in which we know we may have crossed a boundary, prioritized our own needs above the patient's or fallen short of our high expectations of professional practice. We have all faced dilemmas in which there is no clear path and the risk of an ethical breach feels inevitable. Institutions, sometimes traumatized by a history of serious violations, may struggle to address issues of professional practice in an open, curious and empathic manner.
This workshop has been developed to address the aversion to thinking about ethics by using lively, experience-near fictional vignettes which depict complex, thorny ethical dilemmas. In this particular workshop, the focus will be on patient confidentiality–the bedrock of clinical practice. A vignette in which multiple factors contribute to a possible breach of a patient's confidentiality will be presented and discussed. Our goal will be to explore the inherent risks to patient confidentiality, and also to deepen our understanding of how each of us thinks about ethical dilemmas.