Does the mother have a right to the privacy regarding her own diagnosis, which could be threatened if her daughter learns of her own status?

Week 5 Discussion:

Should the staff encourage the daughter to inform her mother that she is sexually active? I truly think that if the mother does not tell her daughter at this point, now that Victoria is 16 and sexually active, not only is mom endangering her child’s life, she is possibly endangering another life as well. I could sort of understand when Victoria was 12, but now at 16, that is just wrong across the board. I would say it is okay for staff to try an encourage mom to tell her daughter, but it seems evident that Tina is not going to tell her daughter, which then raises more ethical concerns at this point.

Would knowledge regarding her daughter’s sexual activity influence the mother’s stance regarding disclosure? I do believe that knowledge may help Tina, but again, at this point Tina obviously know all the risks, yet she keeps this secret. In my opinion, Tina caught HIV from a boyfriend, so why would she be okay with endangering other lives at this point knowing what the outcome can be.

Should the staff break confidentiality and inform the mother that her daughter is sexually active? This is a very tough question, I know that staff has a ethical right to protect the daughters confidentiality, but at what cost here? No, but I do feel the staff can try to talk to Tina, and educated her on the importance of Victoria’s condition, and simply to the fact of Victoria being sexually active, the harm that can come to the boyfriend.

Should the staff encourage the mother to inform the daughter of both her and her daughter’s HIV status? Staff cannot share this information because of the client’s rights, but at what cost is everyone willing to go to continue withholding this information when there are other lives at stake here. There is an ethical obligation here for the safety of Victoria and now Victoria boyfriend as well.

Does the daughter’s boyfriend have any rights in this situation? If so, what are they? Based on the daughter’s age, does the mother have a right to not disclose the diagnosis to her daughter? The boyfriends rights at this point are simple, he does not need to know about Tina having the virus, or how they or Victoria contracted the virus, he just needs to know that if he is sexually active with Victoria, he needs to know that she is HIV positive so they can take safety precautions, or even abstain for safety, but knowingly having the virus and potentially putting others at risk, that is deadly harm to another. I do not believe that age is stopping Tina, this is selfish on Tina’s part, and being the age is now 16 and Tina is still hovering this secret, this is knowingly potential harm to an innocent individual.

Does the mother have a right to the privacy regarding her own diagnosis, which could be threatened if her daughter learns of her own status? Are there other approaches the staff can take? If so, what are they? I do believe that the mother does have a right to her diagnosis, so in reality the mother does not have to tell her daughter about herself, if that is how she feels, but as a mother, I could not imagine how hard this may be, but I feel like the mother has taken this way too far, her daughter needs to know sooner than later for everyone’s sake.

Is further information required in order for you to create an ethically sound suggested course of action? 4.05 states “Psychologists disclose confidential information without the consent of the individual only as mandated by law, or where permitted by law for a valid purpose such as to (1) provide needed professional services; (2) obtain appropriate professional consultations; (3) protect the client/patient, psychologist, or others from harm;” (APA 2010). I truly feel that as the psychologist, I have an obligation to protect Victoria and her mother, being said, yes I have to tell Victoria, there are other lives at stake here, Victoria has a right to know, as well as a right to live, I completely get the mother trying to protect her daughter, but right is right and wrong is wrong.

American Psychological Association. (2010). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct: Including 2010 amendments (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Retrieved from


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