Mayo Doctor Fired for Photographing Patient’s Penis During Surgery

Dr. Adam Hansen, chief resident of general surgery, has been fired after he admitted that he took a picture of a patient’s penis during surgery. Strip club owner Sean Dubowik has a tattoo at that stop that reads: “Hot Rod.”

Hansen has admitted to Dubowik that he took the picture when the patient was unconscious for gallbladder surgery. An array of torts can be alleged. These include negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and possibly intrusion upon seclusion. There is also the publication of private facts. Despite the fact that the patient is exposed in surgery, his appearance remains covered by privacy rules. Under the second restatement, a person is liable for giving publicity to a matter concerning the private life of another if the matter publicized is of a kind that (a) would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, and (b) is not of legitimate concern to the public.

This seems an easy case to make and I would expect Mayo to be calculating settlement figures at this very moment.

Mayo held a disciplinary hearing soon after the incident became public. In a statement posted Friday on the Mayo Clinic Hospital Web site, CEO Denis Cortese states Dr. Adam Hansen “is no longer practicing medicine at Mayo Clinic.”

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8 thoughts on “Mayo Doctor Fired for Photographing Patient’s Penis During Surgery

  1. This guy is the chief resident for surgery, that means that he’s better than all of the other residents in the eyes of the attendings and he’s been at the program for at least five years. How does someone with that much talent ruin his reputation and that of the Mayo Clinic by doing something so childish as this? My other question is, there are many other staff members in the OR with him, how in the world did he carry his cell phone into the OR and break the sterile field without anyone else noticing by touching his cell phone and snapping a picture? I think Mayo needs to not only review privacy issues and staff education, the institution needs to look at their OR protocol because of the possibility of contamination with “non-sterile” objects being introduced in the operating field!!! I’m very dissapointed at the resident and I definitely think he should not be a surgeon or practice medicine in general. I think Mayo should terminate this resident immediately and refer him to the AZ licensing board. If I were the resident, I would consider a career in something other than medicine!

  2. Being chief resident doesn’t necessarily mean he is the best. In many places it simply means you are the most senior ie in your last year. I don’t know this institutions policy but most of the Universities I know of have all or many of the final year residents as chiefs. They are on different services such as vascular, colorectal, etc…. They are in different facilities, say the teaching hospital, a private hospital, the VA.
    Lastly, pictures are commonly taken in the OR. I doubt he was scrubbed in yet and there was no health risk. This is quite simply a brief of confidentiality, in extremely poor taste, and he deserved to be fired. He’ll get position somewhere else but this will follow him for his career.

  3. I expect that it could become more than a simple breach if this patient decides to sue. Clearly, anyone who has a tatoo on his member that reads HOT ROD is expecting third parties to see it. However, it would still be an easy tort case to make.

  4. Our company requires all employees to review “business conduct guidelines” on a yearly basis. I would think there is something similar required for any line of business, especially for the ones that demand high ethical standards such as a medical field. But even without it, what happened to his common sense?

    Question: can the employer he worked for (if he worked for an employer) can be liable as well in this instance?

  5. In some of the news reports, it was reported the the tattoo read “HOTTER THAN A FIRECRACKER, FASTER THAN YOU, AXELROD” but only “HOT ROD” was visible while the patient was unconcious.

  6. One would think that, with tatoos in certain places, brevity would be the soul of wit — and the limit of endurance.

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