UCLA Medical Center says it’s going to fire 13 non-physician employees and discipline 12 others, including several doctors, for violating Britney Spears’ privacy. They snooped into Britney’s personal records during her recent psychiatric hospitalization.
Since the media seemed to have so many details on what was happening, who was visiting and constant gossip on her progress, there’s little doubt some of them sold information to the press.
The hospital’s human resources director called their behavior “disappointing.”
It’s more than disappointing. It’s a violation of HIPPA laws and ought to be prosecuted. And it’s not the first time the same hospital’s employees were caught peeking in her records. They did the same when she was at the hospital giving birth.
Fortunately, the California health department has launched an investigation. It needs to lead to prosecution of anyone in violation, including doctors.
There are such shortages of nurses and other medical professionals that I’ve known of more than one nurse who badly misbehaved on the job (stealing patient drugs, gossiping online about patients), were fired and found jobs within a week.
The only thing that might act as a deterrent is prosecution, and perhaps some jail time. Maybe then, others will think twice before dishing the dirt to the Enquirer.
I hope Britney will be angry enough to sue UCLA at some point. This kind of thing is simply unacceptable.