Recently, a Malaysian doctor has outed a deceased patient as gay and HIV positive in a Twitter post and has since receive a massive backlash from netizens.
In the tweet, the doctor said the patient, who was unable to recover after contracting Covid-19, had confessed to him and asked him to keep his secret.
However, after he passed away, the doctor posted pictures of his X-Ray on Twitter. Unfortunately, she did not notice that the patient’s full name is in view.
This essentially outed the patient posthumously and is also a severe breach of the patient’s privacy and confidentiality.
The post was up for hours before it was taken down by the doctor after gaining tremendous criticism from the the public and medical personnel alike, including from the Malaysian AIDS Council.
The Malaysian AIDS Council together with @KKMPutrajaya stand firm on the policy of medical officers to protect patient’s privacy and confidentiality, especially when it comes to HIV – where the stigma is still very much out there.— Malaysian AIDS Council (@myAIDScouncil) April 25, 2022
Accordingly, the Malaysian AIDS Council pointed out that such behaviour of posting a patient’s private details online is considered a ‘clear misconduct’ among medical practitioners.
The council also warned of suitable actions to be taken against such irresponsible actions.
Besides, the post also caught the attention of All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) as they condemns the doctor for her misconduct.
This is a clear breach of patient confidentiality. @MY_MedCouncil – perhaps it's high time that the patient confidentiality guidelines remain relevant by including the context of social media? @Sab128Z It's only right that this post be taken down immediately https://t.co/Sv0mSJgXDG— All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) (@AWAMMalaysia) April 25, 2022
“This is a clear breach of patient confidentiality. @MY_MedCouncil – perhaps it’s high time that the patient confidentiality guidelines remain relevant by including the context of social media? @Sab128Z It’s only right that this post be taken down immediately.” AWAM said in a tweet.
At the time of writing, the doctor’s account has been deleted to prevent the situation from going out of control.
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