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  #61  
Old 07 December 2012, 06:44 PM
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And while I am glad that the hospital didn't punish her for it (and it's obviously a non-issue now) that fact that a hospital employee did give what is described in most of the news articles I've read some fairly detailed information about a patient over the phone to two people claiming to be family members is... well not a good thing.

I do think the hospital should review and provide refresher training on it's privacy policies.
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  #62  
Old 07 December 2012, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by LizzyBean View Post
The CNN article I found says that the hospital says it is a suicide.
Should the hospital be giving out that information? That seems a bit inappropriate to me as well, though I suppose it's possible they got permission.
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  #63  
Old 07 December 2012, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by DotBat View Post
I agree that they couldn't have predicted the woman would commit suicide, but one would have to be pretty dense to not think a prank like that could potentially harm the career of whoever picked up the phone. Even without the suicide, I think these DJs need to go away. Masquerading as a relative of sick pregnant woman in an attempt to pull some sort of prank crosses a line of decency.
This is always my issue with 'pranks' like this. It's all hilarious to everyone except for the person who ends up on the butt of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
And while I am glad that the hospital didn't punish her for it (and it's obviously a non-issue now) that fact that a hospital employee did give what is described in most of the news articles I've read some fairly detailed information about a patient over the phone to two people claiming to be family members is... well not a good thing
She wasn't even the person that gave out the information, as far as I've read.
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  #64  
Old 07 December 2012, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
And while I am glad that the hospital didn't punish her for it (and it's obviously a non-issue now) that fact that a hospital employee did give what is described in most of the news articles I've read some fairly detailed information about a patient over the phone to two people claiming to be family members is... well not a good thing.

I do think the hospital should review and provide refresher training on it's privacy policies.
What system do hospitals have in place to ensure that the people claiming to be family members on the phone really are who they say they are? If release of information is allowed to those family members, do hospitals have some kind of verification requirement?
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  #65  
Old 07 December 2012, 08:49 PM
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Lainie Lainie is offline
 
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If they don't, they should. ETA: There's also the option of refusing to provide information over the phone at all.
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  #66  
Old 07 December 2012, 08:56 PM
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Morgaine Morgaine is offline
 
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Horrible, just terrible. I agree that the DJs need to go away. I'm all for a good prank but this woman became the butt of worldwide humiliation. I think they could have forseen that someone would possibly be fired & publicly humiliated. Bridge too far IMO.
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  #67  
Old 07 December 2012, 09:09 PM
Bettie Page Turner Bettie Page Turner is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
What system do hospitals have in place to ensure that the people claiming to be family members on the phone really are who they say they are? If release of information is allowed to those family members, do hospitals have some kind of verification requirement?
In my hospital, we give the patient a pass code (the last four digits of their acct number). The patient can give the code to those family/friends he permits to call about his condition.
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  #68  
Old 07 December 2012, 09:15 PM
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That makes sense. Thanks.
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  #69  
Old 07 December 2012, 09:32 PM
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At the very least* in my experience hospitals will have patients designate (a) whether it's okay to discuss their case on the phone at all, and (b) if so, with whom. While that won't prevent this sort of hoax, it will keep information out of the hands of random acquaintances of the patient who call, which (IMHO) is a far more common issue.

*I've also seen variations of the pass code system Bettie mentioned.
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  #70  
Old 07 December 2012, 09:36 PM
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That's what I've experienced, but it was before HIPAA, so I didn't know if there were new practices. And it's why I asked. Those precautions wouldn't have prevented this. I'll also note that it's possible that the DJs committed a crime by misrepresenting their identities to obtain information they were not entitled to.
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  #71  
Old 07 December 2012, 09:45 PM
Meka Meka is offline
 
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A good point. Would anyone (other than the prosecutor*) be required to press charges if the DJs were prosecuted? Would there be pressure from the Royal Family not to press charges?

* i.e. the hospital or Royal Family.
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  #72  
Old 07 December 2012, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meka View Post
Would anyone (other than the prosecutor (i.e. the hospital or Royal Family)) be required to press charges if the DJs were prosecuted?
I don't know about Australian law, but in England and Wales it's only the Crown Prosecution Service (a government department) that can charge people with crimes and prosecute criminal cases.

The CPS prosecute people when they believe there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction, and if it is in the public interest to prosecute. They don't need a third party to make an accusation.
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  #73  
Old 07 December 2012, 11:11 PM
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A co-worker of mine who got a big laugh out of the story, and I got into an argument over it. While I don't condone what they did at all, I knew there were going to be reprecussions for it and I told him so especially since she died. Regardless of whether it was intended to be lighthearted or not, they took the opportunity to play the prank, the nurse (not the one who died obviously) gave out personal information. So both sides should be held accountable for this, the DJs for playing such as sophomoric juvenile stunt and the hospital for revealing personal information so carelessly. This should not have happened at all.
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  #74  
Old 08 December 2012, 03:32 AM
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These DJs can't have possibly thought they'd actually get through. They impersonated the Queen over the phone with a hint of an Australian accent. I think it's horrible that this woman felt the need to take her own life. But I don't think this prank was so bad, simply based on the astronomical odds of getting someone to believe you're actually the Queen and deciding to give you personal information about a patient over the phone.
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  #75  
Old 08 December 2012, 03:40 AM
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I don't think they did. I heard part of the recording and one said to the other while the phone was ringing something like, "If this actually works, it'll be the most amazing prank call ever."
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  #76  
Old 08 December 2012, 03:44 AM
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That's what is bothering me about all the condemnation of the DJs. It's not like they were actually planning on getting through. I mean, I'm sorry but The Queen is calling? They wanted to call and get hung up on.
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  #77  
Old 08 December 2012, 03:45 AM
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Default Why this prank crossed the line

So when does funny become offence? In the motive? When the target is a vulnerable member of society, such as a teenager, or in the case of the Duchess of Cambridge, a pregnant woman being treated in hospital and the staff caring for her?

Or when, as has happened in this case, subsequent events have overtaken the original stunt?

The truth is we may never know. Nor fully understand.

And yet there has to be a line in the sand. A measure by which a sensible society sets limits to protect the vulnerable from such pranks and, in a modern society, the media fallout which inevitably follows them when they go wrong. The latter, in particular, is a major issue at play here.

The events themselves - an embarrassing prank call and its humiliating aftermath - are not so terrible when looked at in isolation. They happen often, usually with no significant consequences.

But in 2012, and in a society ruled by social networks and the excoriating kangaroo court of the Twitterverse, the aftermath can too easily snowball into something far more sinister.


http://www.dailyadvertiser.com.au/st...he-line/?cs=36
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  #78  
Old 08 December 2012, 08:48 AM
BrokenBiscuit BrokenBiscuit is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MapleLeaf View Post
I don't think this prank was so bad, simply based on the astronomical odds of getting someone to believe you're actually the Queen and deciding to give you personal information about a patient over the phone.
It was pre-recorded though. Someone looked at that phone call as-is and thought it was appropriate to air.

I feel terrible for the nurses. Of course you're not meant to share details over the phone but in practice most people will say things like "had a settled night" without angst. I work in a hospital but I don't talk over the phone much, nurses do it all the time and people get stroppy if you stonewall them.

I agree that regardless of who she is uncritically giving specific information isn't acceptable, but I think the nurse was acting in good faith and the radio station was deplorable exploiting the fact somebody's hospitalised. Pranking switchboard is one thing, but they should've realised it had gone too far.

Given Middleton's high profile, I'd actually be surprised if there wasn't guidance on communication. If there wasn't, I think a password and an explicit list of telephone contacts with numbers to call them back would've been appropriate.

Last edited by BrokenBiscuit; 08 December 2012 at 08:55 AM.
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  #79  
Old 08 December 2012, 09:05 AM
fitz1980 fitz1980 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DotBat View Post
I agree that they couldn't have predicted the woman would commit suicide, but one would have to be pretty dense to not think a prank like that could potentially harm the career of whoever picked up the phone. Even without the suicide, I think these DJs need to go away. Masquerading as a relative of sick pregnant woman in an attempt to pull some sort of prank crosses a line of decency.
I would agree on that point. As somebody who has worked with the public since 1997 I can say that there are a bunch of stupid/ill informed people out there and your job hinges upon playacting such people. Pretending to be such a person in order to get some wage slave to break policy out of sympathy is wrong on so many levels. The most obvious one being that you will probably cost them their job for a few cheap laughs.
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  #80  
Old 08 December 2012, 09:40 PM
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I suspect there was a 'Celebrities aren't real people. Make fun of a celebrity and nobody can really get hurt' mentality going on here, which extended to cover all the people involved in the prank on the royals. I believe the DJs involved really are genuinely shocked by the outcome of their actions.
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