Privacy breach

Hospital secretly recorded nearly 7,000 videos of women having gynecological surgery

(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

A surveillance camera installed to try and catch a pharmaceutical thief inadvertently recorded nearly 7,000 videos of women undergoing gynecological operations without their knowledge, according to an investigation by MedPage today. The cameras were installed in an operating room at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in San Diego to catch someone stealing a sedative from the room.

Dr. Patrick Sullivan, former chief of anesthesiology at Sharp Grossmont, said he and other doctors discovered the cameras in 2013 and complained to the Women’s Center Director at the hospital, who refused to remove the cameras. He called the images an “extreme betrayal of trust.”

“There are 6,966 images contained within the multitude of images of women undergoing operations of a very personal, private nature, unconscious and in states of exposure,” Sullivan said in an open letter condemning the hospital’s practices. “One can only imagine what might be on these video clips.”

Additionally, the hospital accidentally sent 14 of the video clips to the attorney of the alleged sedative thief during the case, according to Vocativ.

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