Respected Mayo Clinic Doctor Facing Lawsuit for Photographing Patient’s Private Parts

In what could be an interesting torts case, the respected Mayo Clinic is facing a lawsuit over the bizarre act of Dr. Adam Hansen, chief resident of general surgery, who 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 used his cell phone to take the picture — after the fact was given to the local newspaper.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.

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9 thoughts on “Respected Mayo Clinic Doctor Facing Lawsuit for Photographing Patient’s Private Parts”

  1. While in a hospital a doctor asked me if i had been circumcised and i said i guess so and he asked if he could see so i said yes . he unbuckled my belt pulled my pants down and took my penis in his fingers and turned it this way and that and then had me put my pants back up. ??? is this normal because i felt violated and reported it to the nurse . The nurses stood in the hallway giggeling .

  2. I wonder if the Mormon church he belongs to condones his actions. Or the fact that he has a illegitimate child on the way.

  3. The Mayo Clinic has just as many people lacking in common decency and humanity as any other organisation. However, they do seem to be over supplied with P.R. people so expect some spin.

  4. I find it fascinating that these comments are all focusing on the patient’s tattoo. Like the juvenile resident who took these photos, you’re missing the point: the tattoo itself is irrelevant.

    The facts in this case are quite simple: a patient’s privacy was most egregiously violated when he was unconscious and under the care of health care professionals. It doesn’t matter why people get tattoos or piercings or whatever, nor does it matter how beautiful or hideous they are. If the patient chooses to share it, that’s his or her prerogative. However, a patient who is unconscious is incapable of providing consent, and this physician certainly knows this.

    Health care professionals have an ethical obligation to protect the privacy of their patients. The more vulnerable the patient, the higher the obligation. A patient’s body is not to be treated as a source of entertainment for those who, in the course of their professional, are entrusted with viewing it. Shame on all of you who treat this as a joke. This man’s trust of so-called professionals was violated. I’m sure that the patient, the hospital, and the physician are all aware of exactly how unfunny a situation it is.

    Perhaps this brilliant chief resident would understand the profound personal effects of this violation if he were forced to allow photographs of his naked body to be taken and distributed by the patient.

    The other, more damaging, aspect of this violation is that this patient is now more likely to treat medical professionals with suspicion and delay medical treatment in the future due to this incident. This is a tangible health-related effect of this thoughtless, juvenile act.

    In addition, the reputation of Mayo Clinic has been severely damaged: they trusted this resident to provide professional care. He demonstrated extremely poor judgment–which brings into question the hiring practices of Mayo Clinic because he was CHIEF RESIDENT, a position of high prestige. I wouldn’t hire this guy to be a candy striper, regardless of his ability as a physician. He’s shown he can’t be trusted.

  5. A Tattoo?! On one’s penis?!?! Legal matters aside, I’m impressed. That’s a pain threshold exponentially higher than I can imagine!

  6. I am not surprised he took a picture. 26 years as an RN, and I will tell you there were many times I wish I had a camera….
    The best ever was a full back Harley Davidson emblem tattoo, it was so gorgeous every staff member on duty came to look.

  7. My experience with men who have tattooed this part of themselves is somewhat different…leaning more heavily on the side of exhibitionary in nature. Once upon a decade ago I was relaxing in a secluded hot springs ,late into the early morn..when a man I barely knew asked me if he could show me something cool..A bit naive I was not paying attention to my tingling spider-sense that was warning me that something was amiss…clicking on a small flashlight he proceeded to direct my gaze toward the light so that I could “check this out…cool isn’t it?!” eeeep!! He’d had a large many linked chain tatooed upon himself. Suprised and startled by this unwanted display, I quickly backed away,asking why on earth he’d done such a thing to himself,climbed out of the pool,making quick tracks for the parking area. The mental snapshot of that sad sight is one I wouldn’t mind losing..I’d hoped it would fade with time…it always makes me feel bad to laugh at something so pitiful. Somehow, I can’t seem to help myself.

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