Thu, Jul 14, 2011 - Page 1 News List

Nurse blasted for uploading patient photos on Facebook

ETHICAL LAPSE?A nurse took photographs of the injuries of a man who had tried to disembowel himself, labeling them ‘cool’ as she posted them

Staff Writer

Angry netizens on Tuesday lambasted a nurse working at Far Eastern Memorial Hospital in New Taipei City (新北市) who photographed a patient’s injuries and uploaded the photos on Facebook, the Chinese-language Apple Daily reported yesterday.

The patient, surnamed Chen (陳), reportedly quarreled with family members before he stabbed himself in the abdomen. By the time medical personnel arrived at the scene, Chen was in the process of disemboweling himself.

Ho Pei-hsuan (何培瑄) uploaded the pictures of Chen’s injuries onto her Facebook page at 7pm on Tuesday.

“It’s been a long time since I saw my favorite — a human body!” and “Today’s samurai-like self-disembowelment patient in the Department of Surgery even pulled his intestines out. Cool!” she wrote in comments accompanying the pictures.

Some of Ho’s Facebook friends responded with comments such as “Wow! Cool! If I had seen it I probably would’ve gone weak at the knees!”

The subsequent uploading of the photos on the PTT, the nation’s largest academic bulletin board system, caused an uproar, with some netizens saying the nurse had no medical ethics.

One netizen, going by the name “DONE,” wrote to Ho: “Are you trying to show off by posting such disgusting pictures? It’s outrageous!”

Another netizen using the name “ID AMONED” wrote: “Is this the education of Taiwanese nurses? Such disregard.”

Ho removed the pictures and made her Facebook profile private at about midnight yesterday.

Amid heavy online criticism, Hsieh Shu-hui (謝淑惠), the hospital’s public relations director, said the nurse had admitted that what she had done was wrong.

The hospital would impose heavy punitive measures against her as per its regulations, Hsieh said.

The Department of Health said Ho could be fined between NT$3,000 and NT$6,000 for her actions.

If it was determined that the hospital failed in its management because of the incident, the heaviest punitive measure it would face would be its shutdown.

Translated by Jake Chung, Staff Writer

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