Hospital to Pay $2.2M for Letting Dr. Oz Show Film Without Consent

Image NEW YORK — “I saw my husband die before my eyes.” Those are the words a grieving wife told the New York Times after she turned on the TV one night and saw a program airing footage of her husband’s final moments, footage to which she had never given her consent. That television program has resulted in a $2.2 million settlement with the federal government over the “egregious disclosure” of patients’ health information, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said Thursday. New York Presbyterian Hospital gave the ABC reality TV show “NY Med,” starring Dr. Mehmet Oz, what the HHS called “unfettered access to its healthcare facility.”

The settlement comes from an April 2011 episode of Oz’s show, in which the crew filmed, without consent, the treatment and ultimate death of Mark Chanko, who had been hit by a garbage truck while crossing the street. From behind a closed door production members also recorded audio of doctors delivering the news of Chanko’s death to his family.

Although the footage was blurred and Chanko’s name was not used, there was no doubt to those involved that it was Mark.

The New York Times reported last year that Chanko’s widow became aware of the footage while watching TV late one night when she had trouble sleeping.

“And then I see, even with the blurred picture, you could tell it was him,” she told the New York Times at the time. “You could hear his speech pattern. I hear my husband say, ‘Does my wife know I’m here?'” She watched the entire episode unfold as her husband moaned in pain, his body failing. She watched as doctors attempted to revive him with defibrillation paddles.

“I hear them getting out the paddles and then I hear them saying, ‘O.K., are you ready to pronounce him?'” she recalled. “I saw my husband die before my eyes.”

The Chankos filed a lawsuit against the hospital, which was initially dismissed, but a New York Court of Appeals allowed it to proceed earlier this month in a unanimous decision.

Chanko’s son Kenneth applauded the court’s decision.

“It’s not just important to us and our case but it also reaffirms that what happened in these circumstances to my father is actionable under New York state civil law,” Kenneth told ProPublica. “I think it’s a victory for patients’ rights in the state of New York.”

The hospital said in a statement to ProPublica that it believes it did not violate patient privacy laws. (By Stephen Ganey, Fox4 tv)
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07