Nurse posts brain surgery pics on Facebook - page 2

by student456

12,445 Views | 69 Comments

... Read More


  1. 12
    Quote from RetiredTooSoon
    ...The patients could not be identified from the photos...

    End of story.

    I think we are taking this patient privacy thing a little too far. (And to answer the inevitable question, NO, I would not care in the slightest if that was a picture of my brain posted on the internet.)

    The intent of The HIPPA laws and such were originally to keep insurance companies from sharing information about their customers with other insurance companies. Now it has been perverted to the point, where I, as an ER nurse, can not follow up on a patient the next day to see what is going on with them.

    It's treat them and forget about them. (Unless you are a doctor. Then it is called an educational issue and not subject to those regulations.)

    Also, what would be the difference if she had posted a random textbook brain surgery picture?
    shiccy, mskate, Dental Hygienist, and 9 others like this.
  2. 5
    Quote from workingforskies
    Also, what would be the difference if she had posted a random textbook brain surgery picture?
    The difference is that, with the exception of cadavers (for obvious reasons), patients sign permission forms/consent forms for photographic images to be taken of them in surgery/hospital-with the exception of those that are taken for legal reasons-and even then, consent is usually obtained.

    When my grandmother had her liver transplant, she had to sign forms giving the hospital permission to take pictures of her surgery and of her liver as well as giving permission for them to use said pictures in educating others, including the pictures being used for publication in printed matter. If she had refused to sign, no pictures could be taken.

    When we had taken pictures on the spur of the moment in surgery-usually when there was an unexpected finding on laparoscopy-the patient was shown the pictures and given the choice of whether or not they would allow their picture to be used beyond their chart. If not, the picture either was fixed to the chart permanently or else was destroyed, depending on patient wishes.

    Even if the patient in this story HAD signed a form permitting photography (or it was part of the consent form), that did not include a cell-phone image of his/her brain being put on Facebook. The consent form would have covered resident teaching, publication and the like-not being used by the nurse to 'show off her high-powered position'
    Last edit by RetiredTooSoon on Aug 19, '08 : Reason: misspelling
    LMoonRN, Pipsqueak, nurse15dc, and 2 others like this.
  3. 7
    Quote from workingforskies

    Also, what would be the difference if she had posted a random textbook brain surgery picture?
    A little thing called consent...
    Zookeeper3, GadgetRN71, Pipsqueak, and 4 others like this.
  4. 17
    Quote from RetiredTooSoon
    The difference is that, with the exception of cadavers (for obvious reasons), patients sign permission forms/consent forms for photographic images to be taken of them in surgery/hospital-with the exception of those that are taken for legal reasons-and even then, consent is usually obtained.

    When my grandmother had her liver transplant, she had to sign forms giving the hospital permission to take pictures of her surgery and of her liver as well as giving permission for them to use said pictures in educating others, including the pictures being used for publication in printed matter. If she had refused to sign, no pictures could be taken.

    When we had taken pictures on the spur of the moment in surgery-usually when there was an unexpected finding on laparoscopy-the patient was showed the pictures and given the choice of whether or not they would allow their picture to be used beyond their chart. If not, the picture either was fixed to the chart permanently or else was destroyed, depending on patient wishes.

    Even if the patient in this story HAD signed a form permitting photography (or it was part of the consent form), that did not include a cell-phone image of his/her brain being put on Facebook. The consent form would have covered resident teaching, publication and the like-not being used by the nurse to 'show off her high-powered position'

    As far as I am concerned, if the person whose body parts are being recorded can not be identified, WHO CARES????

    Seriously, we as a society have our image taken every single day by security cameras, both public and private, and we do not give express consent to have those images recorded. And curiously enough, those images CAN identify us. It's kind of the bloody point! Yet, a body part, a piece of meat essentially, gets recorded and posted and now everyone is supposed to get their panties in a wad? Talk about a contrived way to allow ones self to become offended.
    Hygiene Queen, mskate, mynika, and 14 others like this.
  5. 8
    Big deal. I highly doubt you could identify the patient by a photo of his/her brain. This hippa stuff gets taken way out of proportion. Makes me sick. It is irrelevent and honestly, those who get ticked off by such a subject need to loosen up there britches and worry about something more important!
    mskate, cardiacRN2006, Mobeeb, and 5 others like this.
  6. 4
    Quote from workingforskies
    As far as I am concerned, if the person whose body parts are being recorded can not be identified, WHO CARES????

    Seriously, we as a society have our image taken every single day by security cameras, both public and private, and we do not give express consent to have those images recorded. And curiously enough, those images CAN identify us. It's kind of the bloody point! Yet, a body part, a piece of meat essentially, gets recorded and posted and now everyone is supposed to get their panties in a wad? Talk about a contrived way to allow ones self to become offended.
    I like to think of my brain as more than a piece of meat, thank you very much.

    Those same security video images that are taken as you walk into the mall are not splayed across the Internet by a security guard for the express purpose of showing off to friends how big and high falootin' his job is-and a security guard who did so would be disciplined or fired very quickly. They are only shown to the public when there is a security issue or "have you seen this person/help us solve a crime" incident.

    In a hospital, anything done in the OR, unless done in a life or death situation, is done by informed consent, be it written, implied (putting out one's hand to get the IV started, not pushing away an anaesthetic mask) or verbal (I want a spinal, not a general).

    Would it have been any different to you had it been the patient's genital area instead of the brain?
  7. 1
    More information on the same story and more reasons why this was not appropriate, even if the patient's face was not visible:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle4560908.ece

    Cameras are banned from operating theatres unless the pictures are specifically intended to instruct medical students.
    The nurse appears to have used her mobile phone to take the photographs

    Medical indiscretions, though, open up a completely new area of concern because they could lead to a breakdown of trust between patients and operating staff. Although few people would be capable of identifying friends and co-workers by seeing fragments of their body organs, it could be possible to work out when the operation took place and thus pinpoint the patient.
    Pipsqueak likes this.
  8. 0
    Remember the guy who had "Hot Rod" tattooed on his weewee and the doctor took a picture with his cell phone camera? He didn't post it on the Internet but the patient sued when he found out about it.

    Giggling is one thing. This is quite another.

    Good heavens, my dad often asks me if we have any interesting patients in the hospital, and I usually reply, "Sure! Can't tell you about them, however." If a patient's story gets written up in the paper, then I can tell him about them, and only the details that are in the paper, but that's different because the patient consented to make those details public.
  9. 1
    There's also a discussion about this story on the News forum; there are a few posters who don't agree that there's any big deal about the nurse's act.

    For myself? Laws and rules aside, if a nurse is taking pictures of me just for fun or just to make herself look big with her friends, what else might she be doing to me when I'm asleep and at my most vulnerable?
    Sandwitch883RN likes this.
  10. 5
    Would it have been any different to you had it been the patient's genital area instead of the brain?[/quote] . . . have any of you heard of this? A surgical resident took a picture of a male's genital area I believe b/c of a tattoo? (happened in Arizona). He was fired for this as he sent it to others' cell phones and it was eventually leaked to the press.

    Bottom line, it doesn't matter if you cannot ID the patient by the picture. This is a matter of respect! People who are under anesthesia are vunerable, and it is our job to protect their basic rights. Taking personal pictures during surgery and then placing them on facebook (both without pt permission!) is completely unprofessional and disrespectful.


Top