Whittington doctor found posting pictures of patients’ injuries to Instagram
14:45 25 March 2014
© Nigel Sutton
A junior doctor who worked at the Whittington Hospital has admitted breaching patient confidentiality after uploading pictures of patients’ injuries to his Instagram account.
Dr Cemal Kavasogullari took the photographs while working at the Whittington Hospital in Archway and St Bartholomew’s Hospital in central London, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service heard.
He said he deleted the images after he had shown them to his seniors for legitimate clinical purposes, but realised months later they had been uploaded to an online storage service.
He then posted the pictures, along with others he found in lecture notes and through online searches, to his followers on Instagram along with comments.
On one photo of a former patient’s skin necrosis, he commented: “Could you make art from ugliness?”
On an image of a misshapen ear, he joked: “I can’t hear you!”
He commented “the real Harry Potter” on a snap of a cut forehead and in relation to a finger injury, he remarked: “I said: ‘DO NOT point your finger ever again’. But he did.”
He also commented on an image of a cut wrist: “NHS should provide ‘How to commit suicide effectively!’ courses”, and posted a picture of a patient’s wounded shoulder with the quip: “Doctor’s advice: Don’t try going through a glass door.”
Giving evidence before a fitness to practise panel in Manchester, he said: “I feel terribly sorry and ashamed and I feel that any comment of this nature, under any circumstances or any means from a medical professional or anyone is inappropriate.”
If the panel, chaired by Sheleen McCormack, finds his actions amount to misconduct and his fitness to practise is impaired he could face sanctions on his registration.
The hearing, which is expected to finish on Friday, continues.