Can 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!
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