Iowa Woman Says Hospital Chaplain Violated Her Privacy
When you confess something to a pastor, you assume it will be kept confidential.
But an Iowa woman says that’s not what happened at the University of Iowa hospitals in Iowa City.
Dayna Leichty’s son was being treated at the hospital.
At one point, Dayna told a chaplain that she was pregnant.
That information ended up as part of her son’s medical chart. “When someone comes in representing the clergy or representing a religion that it’s going to be something that you can trust will be confidential, but it turns out conversations are only confidential if it starts out ‘Father, I have a confession’ ”
U of I hospitals says clergy are considered part of a patients medical team and are encouraged to provide information about the patient’s family.
It seems to me that the woman had a reasonable expectation of privacy and that expectation was violated by both the pastor and the hospital. The woman was not a patient and there was no reason for her health information to be recorded in someone else’s chart and available to that other person without her consent, was there? If the hospital views clergy as part of the medical team, then patients and their families should be told that so that they can decide what to reveal.
Thanks to the reader who sent me this link.