ER Ethics: “Oh…should I not have done that? Was that wrong?”

Most Unethical Facebook Conduct of the Week: Staff members at a Long Beach, California hospital took pictures of a gruesomely wounded man in the emergency ward (his throat was cut) and posted them on Facebook. Yes, they really did they did.

Commenting on the story, the Social Networking Blog says such problems could be prevented if employers took a more concerted effort to identify their business needs and to educate employees about social media expectations. I come to a somewhat different conclusion. Such problems could be prevented if hospitals hired staff with a rudimentary concept of privacy, decency, respect, compassion, dignity and common sense. If a hospital has to explain to a potential hire what is wrong with putting a dying patient’s photograph on Facebook without his permission, then the hospital should know that it is irresponsible to put such an individual where life and death decisions are made.

Sometimes the need for training is proof that the training would be futile. This is one of those times.

2 thoughts on “ER Ethics: “Oh…should I not have done that? Was that wrong?”

  1. The fact that more than one individual was involved makes it seem worse, as if it wasn’t just one person’s lack of decency, but a collective culture of not understanding the basics of patient privacy.

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