Data Confidentiality and Human Rights

  • 12 Pages
  • Published On: 13-12-2023
Task 1, question 1

Confidentiality is commonly used to refer to the act of keeping secure an individual's personal information in a professional relationship. The information should remain a secret even in a person's absence or perhaps death. The General Data Protection Rights provides legislation guidelines that relate to confidentiality, including The process of data collection should be transparent, fair, and following the law. Obtaining information by the person conducting the subject's data collection process should not be done without consent. Personal information from criminals shall only be done under an official authority and only on request by the law. (Regulation, G. D. P., 2018)

Observing human rights and giving clear information to the subject regarding the rights in a language that they can understand is mandatory. These rights include correct information on the reasons for the collection of data, correct information on the controller of data collection, the right of accessing the data by the subject, the right of rectification, right of erasure, right to restrict data processing, right to object and automated individual decision making and the right to data portability. (Regulation, G. D. P., 2018)


There are also well-laid out guidelines on the controller and the processor's functions and the measures they should take to ensure the subject data's confidentiality. There is also a provision for selecting a representative of the controller and the processor within the union. The processing shall only be done by observing the controller, and all the processing results are written down and providing the data on request by supervisors. Security of the personal information should be ensured, e.g., by ensuring confidentiality and restore the availability of access to personal data in case of a mechanical error of the processors in time. Any breach of personal data should be reported immediately to the supervisor. There is also a need to communicate to the data subject about the data information breach. The processor should also do a prior assessment of the risk when new technologies are being used. There should also be an initial consultation with the supervisor before the start of the processing processes. If need be, there is the appointment of a data protection officer except in the case of a judicial order. There are well-laid out functions of the data protection officer and measures taken to prevent any bias or coercion by the data protection officer. Associations have a mandate to prepare, amend and extend the code of conduct and ensure that the code of conduct is adhered to by all stakeholders. (Regulation, G. D. P., 2018)

The transfer of personal data to third countries and also to other organizations is well regulated. Before the initiation of transfer, there should be evidence and confirmation that the other party involved will ensure personal data confidentiality. There should be no coercion of the controller or the processor to disclose information unless on specific laid-out instances. There should also be the development of international cooperation to develop legislation that ensures personal data protection. (Regulation, G. D. P., 2018)

There is also a provision for a supervisory authority that should be independent and elected by transparent methods, e.g., by parliament. Each member of the supervisory authority shall meet the necessary qualifications laid out; they should be familiar with the stated duties they should perform and be aware of the impact of misconduct in authority. The members of the supervisory authority should be highly competent. The authority members shall be entitled to investigative, corrective, and advisory powers that they should not misuse. (Regulation, G. D. P., 2018)

There should be cooperation and consistency of the lead supervisory and other supervisory authorities to enhance personal data protection. There is also provision for the establishment of a European Data Protection Board. The board shall be independent and the tasks laid out to protect personal data information. The functions of the chair that is the head of the board are also well laid out. The committee ensures confidentiality by not disclosing the agendas discussed in the meeting. (Regulation, G. D. P., 2018)

Question 2

The effectiveness of giving, receiving, and storing data can be evaluated to enhance their ability and energy in ensuring patient information confidentiality. The methods used for collecting patient information include direct interaction with the subject, use of questionnaires, and conduction of surveys when a considerable number of data is required to carry out an analysis. The methods can be conducted physically or by electronic means. Evaluation of their effectiveness is therefore based on the method used. In the conduction of surveys, for example, the subject should only provide personal information when they clearly understand the reason for sharing it. There should be no coercion of the subject to give information to the person conducting the survey. If a contrary of this happens, then the personal information collected is not helpful as it may be biased depending on the subject (Nass et al.,2009).

There should be standard policies on carrying out the giving of information by subjects to ensure regulation of methods. The people receiving the data should also not alter the subject's raw data to fit their situations. Controllers should develop electronic strategies that minimize this, e.g., incorporating voice recordings to support the subject's information (Nass et al.,2009).

Storing of information is also a significant area where information can be altered by the controller or other people accessing it. Thus, the supervisors should take necessary precautions to ensure the effectiveness of the method of storage of the data. Electronic devices to store information should have features such as write only to ensure that the written data is not altered or changed. There should be proper storage of the files in hand-written storage methods to prevent loss of the subject's personal information. (Nass et al.,2009).

Question 3

Nurses and midwives face the difficulty of maintaining the confidentiality of patient's information which could be due to increased interaction of the nurses with the patient. Thus the patients will find it easier to disclose certain information to the caregivers. However, nurses breach these confidentiality rights by sharing the information with their colleagues or any other individuals who should not be aware of the personal data. Mary, aged 25 years, has been newly admitted to the hospital for gastrointestinal problems. Mary was recently diagnosed with HIV and has not told anyone about it. When the nurse comes to administer medication to Mary, she notices that Mary always chooses administration via the gluteus muscle. The nurse always declines and administers the drug via other routes. Mary also decides to inquire about her HIV condition, which is her right but halfway into describing her condition. She feels uncomfortable telling the nurse and demands that the nurse discard the written document she was using to record her data. The nurse declines to discard the material and shares the information with other nurses, and demands for Mary's separation to minimize the possibility of infection to other patients.

The nurse in the case here is breaching confidentiality as she exposes Mary's problems to her colleagues and even demands for her isolation, a move that might lower Mary's esteem. The nurse denies Mary's rights to know why medicine cannot be administered to her body by nurses through the route she wants. The nurse also denies her the right to learn more about her condition.

Question 4 a

David, a 30-year-old nurse, ensures that he attends to females and people who share the same culture as his first before attending to other patients. He has been warned severally of the habits, but he hasn't shown any change in his behavior. Additionally, he is not bothered by people who discriminate against others. David and other nurses or midwives who practice discrimination can promote anti-discriminatory practice by challenging any discriminative processes carried out near them. They should also offer equal services to all people regardless of gender, cultural, ethnic, and social status backgrounds. Nurses should also encourage the patients to give their views without discrimination and empower them in their weaknesses.

Question 4b

Equality is about giving everyone equal opportunities, while diversity involves people from a range of different backgrounds. Nurses' and midwives' responsibilities in promoting equality and diversity in the healthcare practice include; treating all patients equally regardless of the social, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds (Stenhouse, 2021). Recognition of diversity and the choice of the patients is also a significant responsibility. Nurses and midwives should respect patient's dignity and human rights. To meet the hospital's equality objectives, one has to eliminate any discrimination taking place, offer equal services to all people, and promote good relations when working with colleagues and patients (Stenhouse, 2021).

Task 2, part 1, question 1

Legal rights are rights accepted and protected by law, and a breach of these rights is punishable by law. Legal rights are classified into civil rights, economic rights, and political rights. Personal rights are those rights that a person has over their own body, e.g., the right to live without discrimination and healthcare. Legal rights that Rosemary has are the right to dual citizenship, a civil right, the right to free movement, and the right to property ownership, which is an economic right. Rosemary's personal rights are the right to life, the right to quality healthcare, and the right to express what she feels about life freely.

Part 1, question 2

Rosemary's rights could be affected by many factors, such as abuse. Abuse of the right to life could trigger Winsome into aiding her in death, which will probably be assisting in killing her. Abuse of the right of dual citizenship would probably deny Rosemary the right to live in the United Kingdom as a citizen born in Jamaica. Additionally, abuse of the right to quality healthcare would have prevented Rosemary from receiving the adequate healthcare support that she needed and even knowing the condition she is suffering from, perhaps due to misdiagnosis (Burra et al.,2016).

Another factor that affects Rosemary's rights is democracy. Democracy will positively impact the right to dual citizenship and the right to free ownership of property. Civil wars will hinder the freedom of movement into different countries and negatively affect Rosemary's rights (Burra et al.,2016).

Socio-economic and cultural factors also affect human rights by either enabling them or influencing them negatively. An example is a right to property ownership by women, which could be encouraged by some cultural beliefs and discouraged by others where they feel that women should not own property. Additionally, the freedom to speak her mind about the need to die would be taboo in some cultures, affecting her right of expression (Burra et al.,2016).

Part two, question 1

Culture and ethnicity are factors that are primarily involved in the development of self-identity. The cultural and ethnic identity, which consists of the sense of belonging due to one's cultural beliefs, ancestry, common customs, beliefs, language, and perhaps religion, helps one associate with a particular group of people. Cultural belonging greatly helps in self-identity (Woo et al., 2019).

Gender roles create certain concepts, such as being expected to do certain things by a community due to being of a specific gender. The gender roles played since childhood help realize self-identity and help shape the person that one will be in life even in terms of relations with others (Ghosh, 2020).

Question 2

As a nurse, I should advocate for the promotion and enhancement of Rosemary's fundamental human rights. I would also report any acts of violation of Rosemary's human rights. I would offer adequate healthcare support to promote Rosemary's health. By serving on the ethics committee, I would ensure the enhancement of ethics and human rights for the patients. I would also not involve myself in acts that violate Rosemary's human rights despite any external coercion. I would also support her and guide her on wrong decisions that she is making while promoting her rights and ensuring that she does not abuse them. I would also ensure that I talk to the necessary people who might help Rosemary observe and promote her human rights, such as a close family member or a religious member that she is comfortable talking with, to share her problems. I would also ensure the confidentiality of any sensitive information she might have revealed to me.

Question 3

Rosemary's beliefs and preferences are essential in either promoting or enhancing the deterioration of her condition. Patient choice is critical in healthcare as it helps create a good rapport between the patient and the nurse, and the nurses should always listen to the patient's preferences (T. Neuman et al.,2010). However, most of the time, this is often a challenge since patients do not know much about treatment or, in the case of desired suicide (T. Neuman et al.,2010). Since Rosemary is very optimistic about losing her life, she might decline to take medication, negatively affecting care delivery since her health will worsen. She might develop complications that might lead to her death.

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Certain beliefs, either religious or cultural, may prevent Rosemary from getting the proper care delivery. The phenomenon is often known as cultural competence, which is healthcare delivery that meets the patient's social, ethnic, and cultural beliefs (Swihart et al.,2021). It is often a challenge, mainly due to the growing cultural diversity (Swihart et al.,2021). Patients decline treatment and specific medical procedures of treatment owing to strict observation of cultural practices. The consequence is poor care delivery, particularly with stubborn patients who are not ready to listen to advice beneficial to them.


Swihart, D. L., & Martin, R. L. (2020). Cultural, religious competence in clinical practice. StatPearls [Internet].

Neuman, T., Neuman, E., & Neuman, S. (2010). Explorations of the effect of experience on preferences for a healthcare service. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 39(3), 407-419. doi:10.1016/j.socec.2010.02.005

Ghosh, S., & Pataki, C. (2012). Gender identity. Medscape Reference. Drugs, diseases, and procedures. Retrieved June 24, 2014.

Woo, B., Fan, W., Tran, T. V., & Takeuchi, D. T. (2019). The role of racial/ethnic identity in the association between racial discrimination and psychiatric disorders: A buffer or exacerbator?. SSM-population health, 7, 100378.

Burra, S., Killander, M., Nkrumah, B., Chavez, C., Uchuypoma, D., Constantino, R., ... & Lassen, E. M. (2016). Assessing factors influencing human rights around the world: three case studies. FRAME.

Stenhouse, R. (2020). Understanding equality and diversity in nursing practice. Nursing Standard (Royal College of Nursing (Great Britain): 1987). DOI: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11562

Nass, S. J., Levit, L. A., & Gostin, L. O. (2009). The value and importance of health information privacy. In Beyond the HIPAA Privacy Rule: Enhancing Privacy, Improving Health Through Research. National Academies Press (US).

Regulation, G. D. P. (2018). General data protection regulation (GDPR). Intersoft Consulting, Accessed on October 24, 1.

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