University Medical Center employees took inappropriate photos of a patient’s “ambiguous genitalia,” police reports released Thursday revealed.
The patient who later died as a result of his condition was unconscious for his entire stay at the hospital, according to a Tucson police report.
He was nude and was being turned over by three patient care technicians and a registered nurse when one employee was seen pointing his cell phone at the patient, the report said. Those involved said the photos were not sent to anyone and that they had been deleted prior to being contacted by police.The hospital learned of the photos April 24. The photos were taken sometime between April 4 and April 22.
A supervisor of patient care services interviewed several employees and learned that others had also taken photos of other patients, although none were without knowledge or consent, or of genitalia, the police report said.
The four employees present were fired. Four others were suspended.
Hospital policy prohibits the photography of patients without the written consent of a patient of family member. It also prohibits the use of personal cell phone cameras by staff inside the hospital.
UMC notified the patient’s family of the incident.
Tucson police spoke with Deputy Pima County Attorney Susan Eazer regarding the case on May 27. No charges were filed at that time.