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'