Ethical dilemma in Telemedicine


Coinciding with technology advancement and electronic communication are systematic changes in health care delivery.  This advancement has led toan increment in the use of telemedicine to treat and rehabilitate infections. As a result, the ethical facet of these efforts become a matter of interest. To guaranteediscretion of patient’s data or information and intensify security there is a necessity to monitor cases of inefficiency and advance the eminence of healthcare service, which all highlight the necessity of ethical issues in telemedicine(Langarizadeh & Moghbeli, 2016). Telemedicine is the delivery of virtual medical services or healthcare services to patients who are along distance from health centers. Feroze describes telemedicine as the use of information technology to transmit information, preciseanalysis, cure, disease and damagedeterrence, unremittingedification of medical practitioners, or in any instance affect communal development (Feroze, 2008).Conversely, ethical issues in telemedicine infersconsideringbenefits or losses of a patient in receiving telemedicine services and his or her right to choose the therapy and react to dissatisfactory services (Williams & Oetjen, 2015). This study aims at discussing the ethical dilemmas in telemedicine by reviewing related literature on ethical issues in telemedicine.

Ethical dilemma in Telemedicine

Based on the reviewed papers, ethical issues in telemedicine issues can be examined from different aspects: technology, doctor patient relationship, informed consent, and satisfaction of patient along with his or her family members, data confidentiality and security.Using telemedicine services poses a threat to a patient’s information and confidentiality. Many people and companies that want to get health nowadays consult the internet. Several health agencies and professional practitioners use the internet to offer medical services and share knowledge. Technically, unauthorized access to database where these information is stored is possible. Ensuring security of this data and protecting personal information appears to be an issue(Ataç et al., 2013). Medical practitioners need to ensure the discretion of patient’s information while receiving, maintaining, and transmitting this information. They ought to take responsibility of security and confidentiality of this data as the primeworryof patients while receiving telemedicine lies on the discretion of the information they give(Moghbeli et al., 2017). Unauthorized access to electronic data could compromise the notion of privacy protection of personal data of patients and it is possible they are able to take advantage of them.

Advanced technology has changed the form of diagnosis from authentic to digital in tele-radiology, tele-dermatology, and tele-pathology. As a result, adopting digitizer technology necessitates a high level of quality, which necessitates a set of pertinent principles and standards to support the ethical component. Using save and send option packages and other image digitizer technologies, on the other hand, might result in issues such as indistinct images, which can lead to incorrect diagnosis (Moghbeli et al., 2017). This is contrary to quality care and clinical excellence that advocates for standards, quality control and quality provision. Tele-consultation possess a great challenged to medics as medics are needed to be very proficient in offering service, electronic systems are not fool proof despite having high security, and telemedicine grows hastily(Idan et al., 2015).

Literature review

With the setbacks that telemedicine come with, personal information leak, insecurities, and other several challenges, there needs to be a better method of providing medical needs to those located far from medical centers. One of these methods is home visits. Home visit is a heath care service offered by skilled medical practitioner who visit patient’s home to make assessment of both the patient and his surrounding environment. The practitioners gather and transmit information regarding a patient’s situation to their primary care provider. Home visits are conducted from the patient’s home where he or she feels comfortable and is in apposition to take part in the activities that health professional performs. It is probable to examine the patient’s condition and give household-specific health education on sanitization which is otherwise impossible in telemedicine (Diema Konlan et al., 2021). The important role played by medical practitionersduring home visits cannot be over emphasized, and this has ledseveral countries to embrace home visits as a critical constituent of its precautionary healthcare distribution system. Furthermore, health education given during home visits is more effective, resulting to change of behavior than those given though other forms of media (Olds et al., 2014)

Implication to Nursing and Informatics

The quality of medical care is of great significance for both telemedicine and home visit in any nation. To rise the excellence of these services nurses, therapist, and specialist need to set certain guidelines and standards at a widearray of medical facilities to help patients get quality medical services remotely (Buvik et al., 2016). To use tellemedical services implies that practitioners have to be conversant with the technology as these will change the practice in the coming times.Maintaining the safety and discretion of a patientdata as well as maintaining high quality relation with the patient with consideration of ethical issues is paramount. Consequently, using ethical guidelines can be recommended to accompanimenthealth care quality with aim of increasing of boosting patient’ssatisfaction.


Tellemedical series can replace face to face visit allowing patients to stay at home while sick. This also allows nurses to receive information on a patients vital signs from self-measurement devices. This technology also facilitates the sharing of data with a specialist in real time connecting patients to best care from any place globally. Moreover, after disasters or other emergencies that might hinder medical team movement, telemedicine is critical to help treat minor injuries during recovery efforts. For me as a nurse, telemedicine is a primary mean for care provision. Telemedicine websites and online chat technologies connects me to patients remotely for day to day activities.


As indicated in 12 of the selected publications, the benefits of telemedicine deployment can be shifted to in-hospital care in a similar manner. Forward triage is a concept in emergency services that was created precisely for emergencysituations such as contagious epidemics and natural disasters. It is the course of identifying a patient’s status prior to their arrival at an emergency room. 8 Through a 24/7 service in which symptoms and epidemiological links are analyzed via video conference amid a doctor and patient, and subsequent care is provided based on a medical evaluation.


Remote reporting or review of medical data is a rapidly expanding and unavoidable phenomena with a number of benefits and drawbacks. It is thought to have a strong additive potential for usage in accordance. However, it is thought that technical, medical, legal, and ethical regulations are required .Because of all of these issues that may develop during the deployment of telemedicine, there are no regulations in place to determine who is responsible for damages or who is negligent. This is yet another issue.

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Written by Ecadimi

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