Medical malpractice: Staff takes nude pictures of sedated patient

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2018 | surgical errors

When Delaware patients undergo surgery, they are typically nervous about the possibility of an unexpected outcome. There is a fear of surgical errors such as infection, the wrong surgery on the wrong body part or unexpected injury. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and privacy laws in the medical field provide privacy protections for patients. A recent case raises the question of whether taking a nude photo of a sedated patient during surgery constitutes medical malpractice. One woman argues that it does, and she has recently filed a medical malpractice claim in another state.

The 45-year-old woman had been employed at the hospital for 16 years prior to undergoing surgery. The woman worked as a secretary for the surgical department and knew the nurses and surgeon well. Apparently, the woman had co-workers assist her with a practical joke on her surgeon by placing fake intestines on her belly moments prior to her operation. The woman alleges that her co-workers took the joke too far and invaded her privacy.

After her surgery, a co-worker showed the woman a naked picture on her phone that had been taken while she was sedated and unaware. Unlike her co-worker, she did not find the naked picture humorous. After the discovery, the hospital apparently fired the offending employee and suspended the surgeon’s rights to operate on the hospital premises. The woman has filed a lawsuit against the hospital, the chief executive and her surgeon.

Discovering an invasion of privacy similar to this woman’s circumstances during a vulnerable time, such as surgery, is understandably upsetting. Patients who have suffered similar privacy breaches during surgery or other medical treatment could benefit from the advice of an attorney in Delaware. Attorneys can review a particular case and determine if evidence exists to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in civil court or if other legal avenues could be pursued. 

Source:, “Woman sues hospital over nude photos taken of her on operating table“, Teri Webster, Dec. 30, 2017