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pinkrobot
01-06-2011, 02:42 AM
Let's say there's a disastrous event that kills hundreds of people and leaves one sole survivor. Let's also say this sole survivor is rescued and saved from death by a doctor who wants to call the media and have them report on this individual. Does the surviving victim have the right to say no and to remain anonymous?

Kind of a weird question, let me know if it doesn't make sense or needs more clarification. :)

Kitty Pryde
01-06-2011, 02:50 AM
If the doctor has TREATED her while he was at work, in the US it's illegal for him to give her name or identifying details to the media, or to anyone not involved in her care/payment for her care.

If he just pulled her out of a hole and bandaged her up as a good samaritan on the street or something, he can talk to the media about it all he wants.

And if you're asking if the media can force her to submit to an interview...the answer is no :)

shaldna
01-06-2011, 04:48 AM
Let's say there's a disastrous event that kills hundreds of people and leaves one sole survivor. Let's also say this sole survivor is rescued and saved from death by a doctor who wants to call the media and have them report on this individual. Does the surviving victim have the right to say no and to remain anonymous?

Kind of a weird question, let me know if it doesn't make sense or needs more clarification. :)

The doctor can't do that. It's illegal.

Also, sadly, if the media somehow got hold of the information, they can release it regardless because of freedom of information etc.

Just to add to what Kitty said, they can't force you to give an interview, but they can use any information from court cases etc so long as they aren't under any sort of gagging order - which it could be in events such as terrorist attacks etc.

Honestly though, if the media got hold of it, her lilfe is going to be hectic and her face will be plastered everwhere, whether she likes it or not.

pinkrobot
01-07-2011, 05:33 AM
Thank you both for your responses. So, to clarify: in my story, the situation is more like "if he just pulled her out of a hole and bandaged her up as a good samaritan on the street or something," they CAN go to the media but the victim doesn't have to cooperate with them. Correct? Sorry, I just want this to be as realistic as possible. Basically, I want my MC (the victim) to be able to walk away without having to throw her in the situation of dealing with the media, because that would really make an extra leg of the story that I just feel would take away from the focus. But I don't want someone to read it and call foul because I don't get the media involved. You know what I'm saying?

jclarkdawe
01-07-2011, 06:12 AM
Once he starts bandaging, he's acting as a doctor. Confidentiality applies. Any medical treatment, from telling someone to take an aspirin, to doing heart surgery, by a doctor, is medical treatment.

But unless the press finds out about something, nothing is reported. I've been to lots of good fires that the press never finds out about. They weren't paying attention at the time, or were tied up annoying someone else. Lots of things happen without the press knowing about it. Although my guess is some bystander will notice the rescue of one person from a 300 mass casualty incident and tell the press.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

jaksen
01-08-2011, 02:54 AM
Well if the 'event' was biological/medical, say a virus, bacteria, parasite, etc., and it happened in most western nations (let's just say in probably ALL nations), the doctor would be obligated to report it to the necessary public health or governmental authorities. You can't just let a person who survived ebola, say, walk off and go home and say see ya later, and dont forget to take ALL the pills in the bottle.

Perhaps the doctor can't legally call the media, but the story can and will prob. be leaked by someone who knows what's happened. There's only so many ways to keep that cat in the bag.

pinkrobot
01-08-2011, 06:26 PM
Well if the 'event' was biological/medical, say a virus, bacteria, parasite, etc., and it happened in most western nations (let's just say in probably ALL nations), the doctor would be obligated to report it to the necessary public health or governmental authorities. You can't just let a person who survived ebola, say, walk off and go home and say see ya later, and dont forget to take ALL the pills in the bottle.

Perhaps the doctor can't legally call the media, but the story can and will prob. be leaked by someone who knows what's happened. There's only so many ways to keep that cat in the bag.

Oh boy, so this opens up a whole new can of worms.

What it is, is there's a SMALL (a few hundred total victims) zombie outbreak with a venomous origin. At night in a place in town that isn't heavily populated, this doctor witnesses a zombie attacking a living human. The doctor shoots the zombie in the head, grabs the person who was attacked, and takes her to a lab where she (the doctor) has been working on an antivenom. She injects the victim with the experimental antivenom, and after a couple days in a coma the girl awakens, fully alive and healthy.

So, let's just say (since this is how I wrote it, lol) that the girl gets the gist of what's happened through a short conversation with the doctor, and after discovering her face is mutilated beyond repair, she takes off running. Does the doctor now have an obligation to report to the media, or the authorities or what have you, that she's treated a zombie with an antivenom and she's now on the loose?

PinkAmy
01-09-2011, 02:03 AM
I think you need to make the distinction between her legal right to remain private and what would likely happen. Legally of course she has the right and HIPPA would outlaw anyone on her medical team talking about her. That doesn't mean people don't talk to family, friends, or even the media. Especially since your character has some kind of zombie attack. The National Enquirer pays for stories like this and pictures, even though it's illegal. :D

jclarkdawe
01-09-2011, 02:57 AM
You need to contact the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and find out whether administering anti-venom to a zombie is a reportable disease. Seriously, go to the CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/ncphi/disss/nndss/phs/infdis.htm) and you will find a list of Nationally Notifiable Infectious Conditions. For instance, a doctor is required to report rabies to the CDC.

What you need to do is look through the list and see whether you think zombie's would become a reportable disease. My guess is it would be, but take a look and you decide.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Linda Adams
01-09-2011, 03:07 AM
If you want some examples of how the doctor deals with it, head for the news on the Arizona shooting. They just had a doctor do an interview with the press. He was very vague about the details about all the victims. The only name given out was the congresswoman, which the press already had.

jaksen
01-09-2011, 05:14 AM
But again, this is a story, not real life. Soooo...

In the scenario you are writing, maybe yes, the doctor keeps quiet. I mean it's a zombie attack. Who the heck is going to believe him? Does he want to lose his medical license? Or get discredited and sent to a psychiatrist? You might need for him to weigh all the possibilities in his head: Hell, what do I do NOW? Who's going to believe THIS SHITE? (Sorry for naughty word.)

I sort of do the same thing in a story I'm writing. There are paranormal elements and basically the people who are human, who eventually interact with the paranorms are like, wow, now what do we do? Who do we tell? Should we tell? Who'll believe us? (The paranormals don't hang around or appear for just anyone, so they can't drag these creatures off to the police station or the local media and say, hey look what we found!)

So I have my (human) characters haggle this over between themselves and hem and haw and finally decide to just keep quiet, at least for the time being.

Rhubix
01-09-2011, 08:42 AM
If the doctor is doing unsanctioned testing in her garage, she would not want anyone knowing 'unauthorized test subject numer001' escaped from captivity...
There would be so many legal implications there she couldn't possibly tell anyone. She could always put the anti-venom on the internet or mail it to the local tv station to stop the plague anonymously.
There would be no legal scenario where a solitary doctor would do an experiment on a test subject without legal authorization from the patient or a third person power of attorney for a human clinical trial.

pinkrobot
01-09-2011, 09:11 AM
If the doctor is doing unsanctioned testing in her garage, she would not want anyone knowing 'unauthorized test subject numer001' escaped from captivity...
There would be so many legal implications there she couldn't possibly tell anyone. She could always put the anti-venom on the internet or mail it to the local tv station to stop the plague anonymously.
There would be no legal scenario where a solitary doctor would do an experiment on a test subject without legal authorization from the patient or a third person power of attorney for a human clinical trial.

This is so true! I had already incorporated that the doctor was working in secrecy to avoid being caught, but I hadn't even related the idea to the aspect of the media. I guess this answers this question 100%! I'm just going to have the victim run off as planned, worry only about her own predicament, and make the doctor (for her own good) fade into the background and keep a low profile, as far as being the MC's savior goes.

kaitie
01-10-2011, 10:56 AM
There are legal implications of telling--but it depends on who the doctor is. Is the doctor someone who wants to make a name for himself? Is he someone who would rather say "I made this thing and admire me for my genius" or someone who would not want anyone to know because the actions themselves were illegal?

Also, I don't necessarily think calling the media would break confidentiality. Giving them any information about the victim would, but he could call and then try to persuade the victim to go public in the interim.

Another point (well, two, but they're related): Not everyone respects confidentiality. It's bad, it's wrong, but it's also true. There are plenty of ethics cases built around broken confidentiality, so it does happen. Also, think of how often people release info to the media without permission. I think almost every article I see these days says sources are anonymous because they aren't authorized. You have situations like Wikileaks where people with highly top secret information anonymously release it. Just because it's wrong doesn't mean people won't do it under the right circumstances.