Nurse chopped by son takes legal action over privacy breach

A NURSE whose teenage son chopped off her hand in a fit of rage in 2018 is taking legal action against the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) .

Photographs were taken of her in the operating room of the San Fernando General Hospital.

Attorneys representing the woman, a nurse, from Waterloo Road, Carapichaima, have sent a pre- action protocol letter to the SWRHA alleging that the hospital and its staff breached her confidentiality, as she never consented to being photographed.

In the letter, sent on Wednesday, attorney Che Dindial said the photos of her wounds, in the operating room, were circulated on social media and went viral.

The letter contained media reports about an investigation ordered by the SWRHA of her hand and other injuries

In the reports, the SWRHA said the matter was of concern as it related to patient privacy. It added that the authority was guided by the patient charter of rights and obligations, and that its first and foremost duty was to its patients, and included protecting their privacy and guaranteeing confidentiality of medical care.

Dindial alleged there was a “clear breach of confidentiality,” since their client never consented to the photographs being taken and did not expect pictures of her medical procedure to be shared and go viral.

The letter said, as part of the standard on patient family rights, staff must respect patient confidentiality by not posting confidential information or speaking about the patient in public.

“The pictures that went viral were not taken by consent of our client or her family and...(were) not authorised by the relevant personnel at the SWRHA.

“By the SWRHA’s own investigation, the photos were described as ‘leaked,” the letter said.

Dindial said the photos were taken in a hospital setting, so there was no possibility that they could have been taken by anyone other than someone under the control of the SWRHA.

He added that his client was unconscious when the photos were taken and her face was shown.

“The circumstances surrounding the attack are particularly sensitive as she was attacked by her son,” he said, adding that she saw some of the photos after relatives called her and told her about them.

The letter also said she read some of the embarrassing and emotionally distressing comments made by the public which only worsened her already difficult family ordeal.

Dindial said the nurse was open to “reasonable and meaningful” discussions on settlement to avoid any embarrassing litigation.

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