While at work in the day care, accidentally hear your supervisor discussing a student and how the student is HIV positive. Walking briskly away without mentioning the incident to anyone. This student is in the same class as the children of a few friends of yours, and knowing that there are times that there may be scrapes, bruises, and cuts on the playground or in the classroom. You have a very close relationship with your friends’ children.
What are the ethical considerations involved in this situation? Who could be affected by any action that you do or do not take?
What are the perspectives of the persons involved? How might various persons be affected by your actions or in actions?
What laws are applicable in this situation?
What decision would you ultimately make in this situation? Support your answer with rationale from your previous discussion about the ethical considerations, perspectives, and applicable laws.

Solution Preview

1. The ethical considerations involved in this situation are obvious.

The primary consideration is how will this disclosure affect the students directly involved – both the child with HIV and the students who may be exposed to it. According to the ethicicst, Steele, information may be of 3 categories; free and open, judicious and secrets. Judicious disclosure is information free to a special select public. The 3rd class, Secrets, are not to be disclosed unless the recipient is officially declared to receive them. The disclosure of this day care worker would come under the middle category or that of judicious. Ethically, information should be disclosed to the parties whose very lives may be affected by the non-disclosure of this information. However, in disclosing the information, the integrity and emotional protection of the HIV child must be protected as well. ( Steele, ” Ethics of …

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