Health Law

Medical Privacy Gets Celebrity Billing

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Movie star George Clooney has given the issue of medical privacy an unexpected boost.

His treatment at a New Jersey hospital for a broken rib after a motorcycle accident may have prompted some 40 staff members, including doctors, at Palisades Medical Center to peek inappropriately into his medical file, according to Reuters.

The hospital reportedly has suspended seven staffers for a month without pay over the incident, sparking criticism from a union representing hospital workers—and Clooney himself.

“While we believe that individuals need to be held accountable if they violated patient privacy, we also believe that the hospital had a responsibility to establish proper systems to protect patient privacy,” says Ann Twomey, president of Health Professional and Allied Employees union.

Says Clooney: “While I very much believe in a patient’s right to privacy, I would hope that this could be settled without suspending medical workers.”

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