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Confidentiality challenges surrounding plasma therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic: a case discussion in Iran

Authors
  • Saeedi Tehrani, Saeedeh
  • Hashemi, Akram
  • Madani, Mansureh
  • Forouzandeh, Mina
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine
Publisher
Tehran University of Medical Sciences
Publication Date
Dec 21, 2020
Volume
13
Identifiers
DOI: 10.18502/jmehm.v13i27.5044
PMID: 34055243
PMCID: PMC8141205
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Case Report
License
Unknown

Abstract

Maintaining confidentiality, both in national and international codes of ethics, is considered an important principle in healthcare and the medical profession for both patients and physicians. This case-report article focused on a real case. Based on the request of the Iranian Blood Transfusion Organization (IBTO) for plasma donation from recovered COVID-19 patients, we asked the names and personal information of those patients from hospitals affiliated with Iran University of Medical Sciences (IUMS) and arranged for the subjects to be referred to the Medical Ethics Department of IUMS for consultation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Various ethical and legal aspects of this case were discussed in a special meeting, and practical solutions were then provided considering the limits of confidentiality and conditions for ethical access to patients’ information during a pandemic. Since plasma therapy is not a definitive cure for COVID-19 and considering the ethical and legal points presented in this article, it is not recommended to announce the names of patients in the early stages. Given the potential impacts of the procedure and the possibility of patients being cured, however, their consent should be obtained in different situations and, if necessary, providing information to patients or educating them should be considered.

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