The Demi Moore 911 Call: A Breach of Medical Confidentiality?

Privacy law scholar and law professor Daniel Solove writes:

I’ve written before on the issue of whether 911 calls should be public.  The recent release of the Demi Moore 911 call raises the issues once again.  From CBS News:

The tape of the frantic 911 call from actress Demi Moore’s Beverly Hills home Monday night is out and, reports CBS News national correspondent Lee Cowan, the scene sounds a lot more dire than her publicist had let on.

After Moore was rushed to the hospital, a statement said she ‘d be seeking professional help for exhaustion and her overall health.

“The 911 tape really indicates that this is a much more serious situation than we were first led to believe,” says US Weekly’s Melanie Bromley. “We’ve been told it’s exhaustion that she’s suffering from, but you can tell from the tape that there’s a very desperate situation there. She’s having convulsions and she’s almost losing consciousness. It’s a very scary tape to listen to.”

Why is this public?

Read more on Concurring Opinions.

Not surprisingly, I agree with Dan completely.  I think 911 should be treated as confidential and the only people who should have access to them is those who need to review for quality of care of audits or if some issue arises about response of EMS to a call.  If 911 calls continue to become tabloid fodder, people may hesitate to call 911 when they need to.

Won’t  some privacy-centric legislator please propose a law shielding 911 calls from public distribution?

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