Reader Laura’s Comment:
“10 patients of a St Louis Plastic surgeon are suing their doctor for nude pictures that were taken of them and then placed on the web. The photo filenames were the same as of the name of the person depicting. What do you think of this? Who’s fault do you think it is that the patients’ dames were released?”
Ten horrified plastic surgery patients are suing their doctor after finding pictures of their naked selves posted alongside their names on the internet. They said they were outraged when internet searches of their names pulled up before and after photographs of their breasts, which they say they had been led to believe would be used only anonymously.
Some found the photos doing internet searches of their own names, others were informed by friends who came across the images. All 10 of the suits accuse Kirkwood plastic surgeon Dr Michele Koo of negligence and lawyers claim there are more than 30 other women who suffered the same mis-treatment.
I can see how this might happen the way images are handled in some practices. Many doctors delegate the handling of patient images to a staff member. Dr D handles them himself. Using some commercially available software, image data such as a patient’s name can be embedded in the image. A staff member then is assigned to transfer images to an online marketing service and there you go!
How So I Avoid This?
I do not modify images using such a program and ask patients before using their images online. Then I program my own web site. This is a benefit that patients have using a smaller more discreet practice. Their information is kept discreetly.
I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on television, but I would wager that Dr Koo will be writing a big check.
John Di Saia MD