Hospital Bans Mom for Taking Photo of Her Son

woman taking photoCan you imagine this? Citing the patient privacy law (HIPAA), a security guard at a hospital allegedly threatened a mom with jail time for taking a photo of her 7-year-old son while he had his hearing checked recently. Turns out the Missouri mom, Mandi Wilson, used the photo on her GoFundMe page to help offset some of her son’s medical care expenses. The nerve!

Word got back to Mercy Hospital and the security guard allegedly barred her from stepping foot on the property. (Sidebar: I picture him pounding his chest like an ape.) Banned for taking a photograph of someone who once lived in her uterus. Last time I checked, that wasn’t a crime. Yet Wilson says she was escorted out of the hospital with her son and that the officer wrote down her license plate number.

Maybe if her son were posing next to some proprietary technology set to debut at a big medical conference, I would understand how the security guard got his panties in a bunch. Or if there were signs prominently displayed that photos are not permitted. Anything but accosting a mom for being a mom. I take photos of my kid everywhere -- there are 1,617 pictures of him on my phone right now (don’t judge). I would be fuming if I got the boot for documenting his life!

Being a master multitasker is just in the mom genetic code and Wilson’s no exception. She describes herself as a single mom who works three jobs to support her son who is losing his hearing. She filed a lawsuit with class-action status, asked for an injunction against Mercy Hospital from prohibiting patients and their visitors from taking photos, and -- this is the biggie -- managed to tape the exchange with the security guard. There’s no video, just audio ... and she posted it on YouTube. Go Mandi!

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But seriously, moms ... can you imagine someone saying you can't take a photo of your own child? And threatening you to boot? We are their caregivers. It's OUR decision, it's OUR right. We are the ones who are always acting in their best interests ... not some big hospital bureaucracy.

Do you think the mom's rights were violated by the security guard? How would you feel if you were told you couldn't photograph your kid?


Image via © W2 Photography/Corbis

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NatAndCo NatAndCo

Yeah! You don't have to follow rules if you don't like them! Don't cooperate with security then sue if you don't like the outcome! 'Murica!



Sure it's a dumb rule, but it's a rule. Don't get lippy and argumentative with the guy who is there to enforce them. Your child or not, hospitals have strict rules you have to follow. I couldn't leave the hospital with my boys unless I was ina wheelchair and holding them. No one else could hold them until I was out the hospital doors. Was it stupid? Sure. But I didn't pitch a fit and sue.

the4m... the4mutts

My comment is based on the assumption that this man is a security guard, and I know security guards, as I was one for 8yrs.



Security guards have NO LEGAL RIGHT TO YOUR PERSONAL PROPERTY! PERIOD!

I am still a licensed security guard, and security guards have ZERO right to detain you unless they visibly saw you commit a federal crime. 3rd person accusations of misdemeanors, or breaking rules (this was not a crime, at all) give him zero right to detain her, see her phone, ID, purse, or anything else.

If he wanted her detained, he could call the real cops. Security is a deterrent, not a cop. They are there to deter incidents, and to step in if there is an emergency.

This hospital, and this guard in general were 100% out of line. Threatening to report her to medi-caid? That's low, and stupid.

the4m... the4mutts

Oh, and HIPPA has nothing to do with photography, or videos. It is about patient privacy, medical records, and procedures. This woman had 100% unfettered access to her son's records, and therefore was not violating any law, what-so-ever.

If the hospital has a rule, fine, so be it. But to try and intimidate her by saying she was in federal violation of a law is ridiculous. She was completely within her rights, and they are being bullies!

kayba... kaybayblee3

I agree with the 4mutts. I don't know how the guard was doing all of that.

Prett... PrettyNInk87x

4 mutts is dead on. She was taking a picture of her son, not any records or anything personal.

ladyb... ladybug61265

The only way I can see that photography would violate HIPPA is if there were other patients in the room who did not consent to have their photo taken. As for banning this woman from the hospital, that is illegal, because in this country you have a legal right to access to medical care. Unless there was a sign posted that photography wasn't allowed, she did nothing wrong. I take pics of my kids of my kids in the hospital all the time.

Kirsta Cassel

HIPPA laws only apply to those your are not a guardian of.  Being that she is the child's parent, she has full access to everything to do with his healthcare.  So even if the "Rule" was posted, they cannot use HIPPA as an excuse against her.  Let alone the fact that HIPPA laws do not apply to photos taken of the person, unless those photos are part of said person's medical records.  The pictures are perfectly legal for her to take as they are of her own son and taken with her own camera.  ALSO, as the article stated, there was no posting saying there were no pictures allowed, so she was not breaking any "Rule" in taking the pictures either. 


She has every right to be upset and the guard was definitely in the wrong. 

lasombrs lasombrs

Insane. I have taken photos of my son for every major surgery or procedure he has had. I don't post them anywhere just keep a record of all he has over come but no one has ever said anything about it to me

virgo... virgoariesmama

I feel for the mom as a parent of a child who is hoh I have pics of her at children's hospital I haven't taken piccs of her getting her hearing tested but have taken pics of her with Leeds on her head for a eeg and if I was told to stop I'd go off she has every right to take pics of her chils

WCURi... WCURiverRat

It's HIPAA, not HIPPA...



Health Insurance Portabilty and Accountability Act.

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