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Tuesday, July 23, 2024 | Back issues
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Mayo Clinic Accused of Privacy Invasion

PHOENIX (CN) - A patient at Mayo Clinic Scottsdale claims that while he was anesthetized a surgeon photographed his genitals with a cell phone, for reasons that had nothing to do with his surgery, and stories about the incident were reported around the world.

In his claim of privacy invasion in Maricopa County Court, the plaintiff says he went to the Mayo Clinic for gallbladder surgery on Dec. 11, 2007. While he was unconscious, he says, Dr. Adam Hansen, "and the surgical team photographed plaintiff's genitals without a personal cellular telephone for purposes not related to the surgery."

Hansen later showed the photographs to others, says the patient, who is identified only as S.D. in the complaint. He claims that a nurse who was shown the photos contacted a reporter at the Arizona Republic and disclosed what had happened.

S.D. says the reporter called him at his workplace on Dec. 18 to question him about the incident. S.D. claims he asked the reporter not to publish his name or the story, but it was reported, and distributed through news wires across the United States and in "Russia, Vietnam, Brazil, Australia, and the United Kingdom."

In a Dec. 31 press release, the Mayo Clinic "admitted to two violations of the Plaintiff's confidentiality and privacy," including Hansen's taking photos and the nurse's providing S.D.'s full name to the Republic's reporter, the complaint states.

S.D. demands punitive damages for privacy invasion, battery and emotional distress. He is represented by Frank Powers with Harris, Powers & Cunningham.

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