There was a firestorm on social media Wednesday night after ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted the picture below in regards to the right index finger amputation of Jason Pierre-Paul. Now, Jackson Memorial Hospital, where Pierre-Paul is being treated, will open an "aggressive internal investigation" into how Schefter got the photo.
"Late Wednesday, media reports surfaced purportedly showing a Jackson Memorial Hospital patient's protected health information, suggesting it was leaked by an employee. An aggressive internal investigation looking into these allegations is underway.
"If these allegations prove to be true, I know the entire Jackson family will share my anguish," the statement continued. "Our nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals are passionate about our patients' health and well-being, and that includes the right to privacy. If we confirm Jackson employees or physicians violated a patient's legal right to privacy, they will be held accountable, up to and including possible termination. We do not tolerate violations of this kind.
"In order to protect our patients' rights and private information, we enforce strict rules for those who handle patient information and continually educate all employees on privacy regulations. Those rules are constantly evolving as technology changes, but always remain focused on putting our patients first."
ESPN's statement on the matter was that "HIPAA does not apply to news organizations."
Many of you have been upset by this, with #HIPPA even trending on Twitter. Let's allow the investigation to play out and see where it goes. Whether you like the ethics shown by ESPN or not, legally any wrongdoing here appears to be on the part of whoever released the information and not on Schefter or ESPN.