Sep 21, 2018

Hospital reality TV violates patients' privacy

ABC News cameras had unparalleled access to three of Boston's renowned hospitals fpr "Boston Med" show. Photo: Donna Svennevik/ABC via Getty Images

You could probably guess, without looking it up, that if federal health privacy law does anything, it prohibits hospitals from putting trauma patients on network television without their consent. You’d be right.

And yet, four hospitals have now paid more than $3 million in settlements after allowing reality-TV crews to film trauma patients without their consent.

Driving the news: HHS yesterday announced a $999,000 agreementwith three hospitals — Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital — that allowed crews from ABC’s “Boston Med” to film on their premises without getting patients’ consent.

  • That follows a $2.2 million settlement in 2016 with New York Presbyterian Hospital involving “NY Med,” which had aired a patient's death.
  • The man’s family didn’t even know his death had been filmed until the show aired and his widow happened to be watching, ProPublica reported.

What they're saying: “Patients in hospitals expect to encounter doctors and nurses when getting treatment, not film crews recording them at their most private and vulnerable moments,” Roger Severino, the director of HHS’ Office of Civil Rights, said in a statement yesterday about the Boston settlements.

Go deeper

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

The Third Police Precinct burns in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Demonstrators demanding justice burned a Minneapolis police station and took control of the streets around it last night, heaving wood onto the flames, kicking down poles with surveillance cameras and torching surrounding stores.

What's happening: The crowd was protesting the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man whose life was snuffed out Tuesday by a white Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck for about eight minutes.

Minneapolis mayor to Trump: “Weakness is pointing your finger” during a crisis

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey fired back at President Trump on Friday, after the president accused the mayor of weak leadership amid violence sparked by the killing of an unarmed black man by a white police officer.

Driving the news: Trump made his accusations in a pair of tweets early Friday, saying he would bring the national guard into Minneapolis if Frey couldn't “bring the City under control.” 

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