Legal and Professional Issues - Manager of an IT company.

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Legal and Professional Issues

Scenarios 4

Manager of an IT company

You are a manager with an IT company supplying information management systems to medical practices.  A company marketing health-related products (complementary medicines, books on diets and ‘miracle’ cures of various kinds) has approached you.  They suggest that you jointly offer doctors incentives to accept a feature in your system that will print out advertisements for their products on documents for patients and target different categories of patients with mailings.

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Title Page

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Ethical Issues it raises for;

  • The individuals- doctors, IT manager        4
  • The groups - marketing company, patients        4-5

Enquires which may be carried out in order to understand the problem better        5

Proposed ‘solution’ for the problem        5-6

Bibliography        7

Appendices        8-11

Manager of an IT company

Ethical Issues it raises for;

IT Manager

  • Data Protection Act 1998- “sensitive personal data” within the act states that ‘his physical or mental health or condition’ should not be disclosed.  See Appendices.
  • Human rights act 1998
  • The act of ‘Bribery’, illegal in the UK.
  • Company should have made a legal binding to the medical practice to secure data leakage.
  • Ethics and Information Technology.  See Bernhard Debatin in Appendices.
  • In relation to Mills theory- the consequences could lead to higher monitoring of privacy if the activity is disclosed.  See Appendices.


  • Following the principle of Mills, again, the consequences could be increased monitoring of doctoring practice locally or through the UK.
  • Data protection act 1998
  • Human rights act 1998
  • Unspoken confidentiality agreement with patient (doctor/ patient relationship)
  • Medical ethical practices, as laid out by the General Medical Council .
  • Breaking position of  patient/ doctor authority
  • Misinforming patients/ disclosing information about a product he/she may know little about i.e. not knowing the side affects and misinforming patients claiming a ‘miracle cure’.
  • Accepting a personal ‘incentive’ on behalf of patient confidentiality
  • Viewed as a high profile in society- should set a high ethical example
  • Potential- under Mills theory, of loosing the Doctor Status, respect and trust of the patients.

Marketing Company

  • The British Code of Advertising Practice
  • Marketing ethical  practices
  • Freedom of Information Act 2000 – could be viewed as ‘ethical’ for such medical information to be disclosed in Europe.
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  • Unspoken confidentiality agreement with doctor (doctor/ patient relationship)
  • Date protection Act 1998 as before
  • Human Rights Act 1998 as before
  • Doctor- medical professional, patient- not a medical professional, thus the acceptance of something neither may no much about would potentially occur
  • Names/ Address/ disabilities and/or illnesses being disclosed; private and personal information which could be very sensitive to the individual.

Enquires which may be carried out in order to understand the problem better

It would be beneficial to do all the following in order to understand the situation ...

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