Nurses fired at German hospital for patient selfies | News | DW | 21.10.2014

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Nurses fired at German hospital for patient selfies

Five emergency room staff have been sacked at a German hospital for posting humiliating photos of patients online, a spokesman for the clinic in the western city of Aachen has confirmed.

According to media reports that surfaced on Tuesday, the five emergency room staff were terminated with immediate effect from the Aachen University Clinic after it was found they had published pictures and videos of patients in compromising poses.

Two selfies - pictures taken with a smart phone that include the photographer in the image - and one video were known to have been published on the Whatsapp messenger service.

Mathias Brandstädter, hospital spokesman, called the conduct "absolutely out of bounds," something the Aachen clinic could "in no way tolerate or accept."

Though no details of the published material were officially released, the daily Aachener Zeitung reported they concerned dementia patients who had been "made to look foolish with silly clothes and makeup."

In reaction to the Aachen case, the German Foundation for the Protection of Patients voiced deep concern at such behavior from a professional. "There is no way these people could have defended themselves…We call on every medical institution in the country to keep a closer eye on this."

Aachen police said they were looking into the incident for any actions that would warrant a criminal investigation.

glb/kms (AFP, dpa)