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Rzeszów. The doctor published a photo of a naked patient. According to the hospital, it was the result of a series of coincidences

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A surgeon from Rzeszów asked his colleague to take a souvenir photo with the students in the operating room. The photo was published on the Internet. However, apart from the medics, it also shows an undressed patient preparing for a procedure. The hospital explains that the publication of the photo in this form is an accident. The appointed commission recommended an “instructive conversation” as a punishment, but if the case becomes interested in the Ombudsman for Professional Responsibility at the Supreme Medical Chamber, the consequences may be more serious.

We received information about the incident that took place at the University Hospital in Rzeszów at the end of May on Kontakt 24. The author of the report attached a screenshot from his phone, which shows a photo and the name of Wojciech Domka, M.D., an otolaryngologist from Rzeszów.

“Is it a cabaret for the vice-president of the medical chamber to publicize a naked woman undergoing surgery like a hunting trophy?” – asked an outraged Internet user (original spelling).

They appointed a commission

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We asked about the matter at the Rzeszów University Hospital, where the specialist signed under the photo is admitted. A spokesman for the institution said that a three-person commission had been appointed in this matter. At that time, it was not yet known to whom Dr. Domka sent such a photo and why. However, we managed to determine that the medic visible in the foreground is Jacek Pszeczny, MD, PhD, an oncological surgeon.

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– The management knows about this photo. A commission consisting of a doctor and two professors has been established to investigate this matter, said Andrzej Sroka, spokesman for the hospital.

The committee's work ended on June 6.

The minutes of its meeting, obtained by the tvn24.pl editorial team, confirm that the photo shows Dr. Pszeczny with medical students at the University of Rzeszów, and was taken by Dr. Domka. The commission's work consisted of hearing both doctors.

New clothes, a tight room and a WhatsApp report

The events that, according to the hospital's explanation, led to the publication of the photo seem to be a series of unfortunate and bizarre coincidences. Starting with the reason for taking the photo.

– I talked about this with Dr. Pszeczny and they got new clothes at the hospital that day. It was the first time in many years that completely new clothes for operators and surgeons were purchased. Everyone changed clothes, Dr. Domka was passing through the operating theater and Dr. Pszeczny shouted “hey, Wojtek, take a photo of us” – reports Sroka. He adds that the doctor “didn't know at all” what was in the back of the frame.

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– Doctor Domka was to crop the photo and send it to Doctor Pszeczny – says the spokesman.

The way the photo was taken was also not accidental. “Due to the small room in which the photo was taken (the operating theaters of the USK in Rzeszów are cramped), a wide-angle lens was used to take the photo and the patient was included in the frame,” we read in the minutes of the committee meeting.

Then Dr. Domka returned home and – as we read in the report – instead of sending the photo to Dr. Pszeczny as planned, he accidentally posted it in a WhatsApp story. – The thing about these types of relationships is that you click them once and then they disappear. When the photo was posted there, his daughter immediately informed him about the situation and helped him remove it, Sroka explained.

From the minutes: “Despite the quick reaction, someone made a print screen and passed the photo on.”

“Instructive conversation” and regulation

The protocol also emphasizes that stories are a relatively new function on WhatsApp, and the author of the photo unintentionally broke the provisions of the “Act on Patient Rights and the Patient Ombudsman”, which he knows well and which he violated for the first time.

As the spokesman emphasizes, Dr. Domka “takes responsibility for the entire situation.” – He explains it by accident, fatigue, ignorance of this function on WhatsApp, he is aware of the consequences – says Sroka.

And what will these consequences be? – The director will definitely conduct an interview and will most likely reprimand these two doctors, that's the first thing. However, the entire hospital will be reminded, through the director's regulation, of all information about the ban on recording and disseminating the image of patients – enumerates the spokesman.

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At the end of the minutes there are the committee's conclusions to the management. We read in them that “the incident was a one-off and unintentional event”, therefore the commission recommends conducting “informative conversations” with both doctors. However, it is not known when such talks will take place, because the director of the Rzeszów facility is currently suspended due to prosecutor's allegations in a completely different case.

Dr. Wojciech Domka is a member of the Supreme Medical Council. We contacted the spokesman of the Supreme Medical Chamber, which governs NRL. It turned out that the information about the prominent doctor's involvement in publishing the patient's photo had not yet reached the Chamber. – This should never have happened in the first place. After your publication, we will send it to the Ombudsman for Professional Responsibility, said Jakub Kosikowski, spokesman for NIL.

Ultimately, the consequences for Dr. Domka may be more serious than an “informative conversation” and a hospital order reminding the rules.

The hospital did not notify the patient

What about the patient who unintentionally became part of a hospital scandal? It turns out that the woman most likely does not know that her photo was taken while preparing for the operation.

– This certainly didn't apply to this patient. This photo was taken over two months ago and so far we have not had any signals that this patient received it – said the hospital spokesman.

When asked whether the hospital was considering contacting the woman at all, Sroka confirmed that it was being taken into account. – I suggested to the director that the topic of trying to apologize to this patient should come up. The question is whether it can be located at all, says the spokesman.

He added that he also suggested including the woman's apology in the commission's conclusions. – I heard that they would not like to include this in the applications because at the moment they do not know whether it is possible to locate this patient – ​​he added.

We asked the Patient Ombudsman whether the hospital is obliged to inform the patient about the situation and whether such a photo could have been taken in the operating room at all. We are waiting for an answer.

Author:Anna Winiarska

Main photo source: TVN24

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