Is it illegal for an X-ray technician to tell me I'm pregnant in front of my guest?
I was at a concert last night and broke my arm. I was taken to a nearby hospital by ambulance and was placed in the emergency room. They tested my urine before taking the x-ray of my arm. The only person allowed in the room to visit me happened to be my very good friend's girlfriend. (I have a son with my good friend's brother.)
All of a sudden an x-ray tech came into the room, looked at me and said, "So, you're pregnant, right?" in front of my friend's girlfriend. Not knowing I really was pregnant, I told him that he must have the wrong room and he walked out very embarrassed.
Not long after that he came back into the room, while my friend's girlfriend was in there, and told me that I actually am, in fact, pregnant. He told me he was sorry and thought I knew about the pregnancy. I was so overwhelmed because I had no idea I was pregnant and he told me in front of someone that I would not want to tell.
Now I'm afraid of my son's father finding out about my pregnancy. I also feel as if I can't go about my options correctly because now she knows I'm pregnant. I am in a very difficult position now because being pregnant is something I would like to keep to myself for now and tell others in my own time.
Is it illegal that the x-ray technician did not respect my confidentiality? Shouldn't a doctor have told me about my pregnancy and not an x-ray technician? Is this a violation of my HIPAA rights? What can I do? Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Is it illegal for an X-ray technician to tell me I'm pregnant in front of my guest?":
Technically, the x-ray technician's announcing your pregnancy in front of a third person could be considered a violation of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). This is because the x-ray technician, without your authority, revealed your medical "record" or "status" to another person.
Clearly that action was inappropriate. Because the actions of the x-ray technician may be a violation of HIPAA, any legal action you may want to take should be through an attorney.
Seeking appropriate compensation for the hospital's violation of HIPAA can only be effectively pursued by a qualified attorney. Pursuing legal action against the hospital "Pro Se" (by yourself) is ill-advised.
Do not discuss the matter among anyone else. If you do you will only make any case you have more complicated.
Most personal injury attorneys do not charge for an initial office consultation. Contact several and visit with them. They will be able to review the facts more closely, evaluate the damages you've suffered, and then inform you if you have a meritorious case.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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