HIV-infected Psychiatric Patients: Beyond Confidentiality

Ruth Macklin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The AIDS epidemic calls for an ethical analysis of conflicting obligations surrounding HIV-infected psychiatric patients and confidentiality, as well as issues that go beyond confidentiality. Although laws pertaining to HIV infection have been enacted in a number of states, these statutes leave much discretion to health professionals. The ethical principle known as “the harm principle” can permit disclosure of confidential information and detention or isolation of psychiatric patients who pose a threat of infecting other patients. From an ethical point of view, however, the circumstances under which traditional protections may be weakened or abandoned remain limited.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-20
Number of pages18
JournalEthics & Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 1991


  • AIDS
  • HIV
  • confidentiality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • General Psychology


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