JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (CN) – The Navy surgeon general on Wednesday called images posted on social media over the weekend depicting a Naval hospital employee abusing newborns “highly offensive.”
One of the posts, a photograph, showed the Naval hospital employee making a rude hand gesture to an infant with the caption “How I currently feel about these mini Satans. Another post was a short video with another employee making an infant dance with rap music playing in the background.
The Navy surgeon general, Vice Adm. Forrest Faison, said in a statement on Wednesday this conduct was “unprofessional and inappropriate” which violated “both our care values of honor, courage and commitment as well as our medical ethics.”
“In an age where information can be shared instantly, what we say and post online must reflect the highest standards of character and conduct, in both our personal and professional lives,” he said. “This type of inappropriate conduct violates two of my core values: (1) be worth of the trust placed in our hands in the privilege of caring for America’s sons and daughter, and (2) be worth of the “uniform” we wear, both military and civilian, and all that we represent.”
Faison also issued an “immediate mandatory all-hands stand downs within 48 hours at all Navy Medicine commands to review our oaths, our pledges, our reasons for serving, as well as Navy Medicine’s policy regarding use of personal owned phones and other recording devices.”
He added that “all commanding officers will be tasked to ensure no additional patient photos exist on social media” and has also issued “an immediate prohibition of all personal cell phones in patient care areas until further notice.”
The naval hospital in Jacksonville also released statement calling the social media posts “outrageous, unacceptable, incredibly unprofessional,” and vowing that such behavior will not be tolerated.
“We have identified the staff members involved. They have been removed from patient care and they will be handled by the legal system and military justice. We’re in the process of notifying the patient’s parents,” the hospital said.