The other day, while in triage, I was confronted by a woman. I had triaged her earlier....she had an abscess that probably needed I&D, therefore she needed a room in the area of our ED where we put our lacs and abscesses. I had informed her at triage that we did not have any rooms open and told her I would call her back when one was available.
In the meantime, she saw me triage a couple of cough/backs pains to the Fast Track. This was the source of her disgruntlement.
As she verbally attacked me and called me a "liar"....I tried in vain to explain why she needed a special room and why the others were called back ahead of her. (I can understand her initial confusion) But the woman was so busy calling me names...she refused to listen.
Usually I don't argue.
This time, the point was so simple
.... I just knew I could make her understand.
ANYway..... I looked over this woman's shoulder and I see her 15-16 year old son taking my picture with his phone. I tell him "You do NOT have my permission to take my picture" and then I summon security who had been lurking in the shadows until this point. The security officer asks the young man, "did you take her picture?" Well, duh.....GUESS what the guy says?
The security guy considered the case closed I guess because he then goes back to his corner.
There are soooo many picture/video phones out there. I know we have policies about pts privacy and rights....but what about OURS? I felt somewhat violated and even perceived a veiled threat in there.
Just wondering if any of you...ER or elsewhere in the hospital... have had a simular situation and what your hospital/security does about it.
Ummm.. actually a person is LEGAL in taking your photo! This is an area where people really get confused.
1. Once someone takes your photo in say, a HOSPITAL setting (which is not illegal, even if it is against hospital regulations), there is NOTHING that can be done about the actual photograph.
2. Security can ask the person to leave the premise, but cannot take their camera, cell phone, etc.
3. Now, if the person comes back onto the property, then they are guilty of TRESPASSSING; even if they subsequently take a photo while trespassing, they still haven't committed a crime as far as taking the photo, only trespassing.
This issue is where so many people are confused about the law. People generally have the assumption that they have a say-so who can take their photo and in what setting. This is not true (there are a few exceptions).
** When photographers run afoul of the law, is when they USE the photo in a way which warrants "permission", and they don't have such permission.
For those of you interested in law, you can reference such in Prosser/Keeton "Torts"... available at ANY law book store.
Hospital security would be committing an unlawful act by taking someone's camera or camera phone.
In a nut shell.... a person can take photos of you and your family (yes, that includes children) as much as they like, as long as they don't use the photos for commercial use OR publish your "likeness" for all to see giving you unwanted notoriety, etc., etc.. (remember, there are exceptions).
Teila K. Day
Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Sep 18, '06
: Reason: edited email