Patient sues doctor & hospital after photos of her turn up on social media

Christina Thielst, Host of Christina's Considerations
Christina Thielst, Host of Christina's Considerations

By Christina Beach Thielst

First Posted at Christina’s Considerations on 12/9/2013

Christina Thielst, Host of Christina's Considerations
Christina Thielst, Host of Christina’s Considerations

Here we go again!  As I’ve stated many times before, no pictures in the hospital and no posting them on social networking sites.

In this case a patient is suing a physician and the hospital after pictures were taken while she was in the emergency room and posted on Facebook and Instagram. The physician, a Fellow at the hospital and also acquaintance of the patient, included uncompassionate captions along with the photos of the young lady who had consumed too much alcohol. While still in the emergency room the security guard asked him to delete the pictures and the physician stated that he would. So he also had a warning.

As healthcare leaders, we must effect the imagination of our young professionals and employees and teach them the boundaries between their personal and professional lives.  They must know that their professional life out ranks their personal life, because our patients expect so much more from us.


  1. What bothers me most is the “uncompassionate captions” that is the MOST unforgivable part.
    Not only did he take photos of a patient without her permission, but also published them! A whole lot of evilness.
    I can conceive of sharing a photo of a patient (but not on social media) for educational purposes.
    It doesn’t seem that any explanation would be good enough to justify the facts as presented above.

  2. Although some might argue that there’s no cure for stupid, there is at least some expectation that brainiacs smart enough to get accepted into med school should be able to figure out plain ol’ common sense. The Chicago case is just one more in a long regrettable list of stupid online choices gone public. Yet we’re dealing with a generation of plugged-in young adults who have grown up somehow believing that every updated online status report is important, no matter how boring or inane. More on this at “Doctors Behaving Badly Online” –