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Court: Posting patient’s photo on social media now not illegal


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Court: Posting patient’s photo on social media now not illegal

The Minnesota Court of Appeals says a nurse’s aide at senior care facility didn’t violate the law when she posted a photo of a patient with Alzheimer’s disease on social mediaFebruary 7, 2020, 5:07 PM3 min readMINNEAPOLIS — A senior care facility nurse’s aide did not violate state law when she posted a photo of…

Court: Posting patient’s photo on social media now not illegal

The Minnesota Court of Appeals says a nurse’s aide at senior care facility did now not violate the regulation when she posted a photo of a patient with Alzheimer’s disease on social media

February 7, 2020, 5: 07 PM

3 min learn

MINNEAPOLIS —
A senior care facility nurse’s aide did now not violate remark regulation when she posted a photo of a patient with Alzheimer’s disease on social media for the reason that photo itself used to be now not a effectively being checklist and did now not violate the patient’s privateness, the Minnesota Court of Appeals dominated.

The ruling, issued closing week, found that for the reason that 2017 social media submit supplied no other identifying information, it wasn’t a effectively being checklist. The submit included a demeaning message.

Madonna Summit in the southern Minnesota metropolis of Byron instructed the aide to clutch the submit. The girl used to be later fired. Staff also obtained practising on patient privateness and cellular phone expend. However the ruling skittish some elder care advocates who negate it if truth be told tells aide workers they may be able to submit photos of sufferers online without authorized repercussions.

“This ruling may possibly well well get excessive implications for other folks dwelling in residential long-term care,” Joseph Gaugler, a professor on the College of Minnesota’s College of Public Well being, instructed the Star Tribune. “On condition that most of nursing dwelling residents stay with cognitive challenges, the different for somebody to submit what may possibly well well furthermore very effectively be non-public and/or contaminated posts on social media without the consent of residents or their legally authorized representatives is troubling.”

In the June 2017 submit on the aide’s non-public social media page, the patient is sitting in a chair and the aide is wearing scrubs. Below the photo, the aide wrote, “This runt (expletive) honest pulled the fire alarm and now I truly get to name 911!!! Woohoo.”

The aide instructed investigators with the remark Well being Department that she posted the photo because she “thought it used to be humorous.”

The patient’s husband sued Madonna Summit, alleging the submit published information relating to the effectively being of his wife, who died in 2018.

In its overview, a three-acquire panel of the Court of Appeals regarded as whether or now not the submit and photo ought to be classified as a effectively being checklist. The Minnesota Well being Details Act defines a effectively being checklist as “any information, whether or now not oral or recorded in any operate, that relates to the previous, contemporary or future bodily or mental effectively being or condition of a patient.” Examples of protected records encompass lab experiences, X-rays, prescriptions and other technical information passe to evaluate any individual’s effectively being, the court docket acknowledged.

“The remark and accompanying caption are under no circumstances posted in essentially most definitely the greatest taste, however they operate now not tumble under the definition of a ‘effectively being checklist’ in the Minnesota Well being Details Act,” Senior Purchase Roger Klaphake wrote. The resolution upholds a lower court docket’s ruling to brush aside the lawsuit.

Peter Sandberg, an authorized expert for the patient’s husband, acknowledged the court docket did now not acknowledge the “potent threat” posed by social media. Sandberg acknowledged any individual who knew the aide may possibly well well get acknowledged the set she worked and deduced that the girl suffered from a mental impairment in defending with the photo’s caption.

“A smartphone is a potent instrument for invading any individual’s privateness,” Sandberg instructed The Related Press, “and what’s posted on social media can turn into a everlasting stain.”


ABC News


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