NARM Position Statement Regarding Confidentiality

On April 29, 2018, the NARM Board wrote and approved the following position statement regarding confidentiality—

In the context of midwifery practice, confidentiality is critical to protect consumers.

During midwifery care, consultation, and peer review, respectful and confidential discussion may occur regarding both the midwifery consumer/client and the decisions and actions of the midwife and care team.

Personal and professional ethics regarding confidentiality require that someone who has learned personal details about another person refrain from sharing or discussing those details with anyone else without permission. When the person affected is not present, be respectful of them and their privacy.

When personal details and private information are discussed, each person who is in contact with the information becomes responsible for upholding the confidentiality of that person’s information. Contact with private information may be unintended or accidental, but the professional and ethical responsibility for maintaining confidentiality always applies.

When personal details or professional actions become the subject of discussion, avoid gossip and speculation. If a person or their actions has caused concern, midwives are advised to limit discussion to areas appropriate for professional peer review.

Midwives are encouraged to include discussion of their confidentiality practices as part of their informed consent process with clients.

Midwives are advised to implement confidentiality considerations whenever client information is discussed.

Complaints regarding breach of privacy or confidentiality in peer review will be addressed through the NARM Grievance Mechanism. Review of incidents where there has been a perceived breach of privacy or confidentiality will utilize resources such as the midwife’s Informed Disclosure form, confidentiality agreements, informed consent documents, practice guidelines, and HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules.

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