Amy Corderoy reports:
Brieana Rose (not her real name) could not have been more vulnerable. Unconscious on an operating table, having gynaecological surgery to see whether she had cancer.
She could never have known that one of the people charged with looking after her would instead take advantage of her, violating her trust by taking a photo of her genitalia and showing the photo to others.
The experience has not only taken a financial and emotional toll, but it has revealed a huge gap in medical and privacy law in NSW.
When her Norwest Private Hospital doctor called her to tell her what had happened, she knew immediately what she wanted.
The nurse left the hospital and was hired by another, and currently has nothing on her publicly available record to indicate what she did. Brieana was also unable to legally force her to provide her phone for forensic analysis – because that would be a violation of the nurse’s privacy – and the hospital had no control over their former employee.
This is a disgusting situation, and yes, the laws in NSW need to change. Not only does the nurse need to be disciplined by her licensing board, but the patient should have the right to sue for the privacy violation and emotional distress caused.
Read more about what happened on Sydney Morning Herald.