Sierra Samuels, a neonatal intensive care nurse at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, was fired after an investigation concluded she posted two photos of a newborn with an abdominal wall birth defect to her Instagram account.
“My night was going great them boom!” Samuels captioned one of the photos. In the second photo, Samuels shared a closer look at the child’s birth defect: gastroschisis, where a baby’s intestines are found outside of the body, exiting through a hole beside the belly button. She captioned that photo, “Your intestines posed to be inside not outside baby!”
“Employees who violate these privacy rules, despite being educated, are subject to disciplinary action included suspension or termination,” hospital officials told reporters.
An attorney told local news outlets that Samuels not only violated the newborn’s privacy but also breached HIPAA.
“In addition to the general HIPAA violation that we’d be looking at here, there’s a sense of decency about the rights and expectations we all have in our likenesses and our images,” said Miami attorney David Weinstein. “With images, you have a certain expectation of privacy that if you’re in an area that you’re in an area that you believe to be private and in this case a hospital, even more so.”