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Mayo Clinic Hospital Surgeon Takes Photo of Patient's Penis During Surgical Procedure

Thursday, July 24, 2008 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: surgeons, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) A surgeon at the Arizona Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix has admitted to using his mobile phone to take a picture of a patient's penis during surgery.

Dr. Adam Hansen said that he took the picture of Sean Dubowik's penis while inserting a catheter during a gall bladder operation. Dubowik, a strip club owner, has the words "Hot Rod" tattooed on his penis. According to Dubowik, he got the tattoo as part of a $1,000 bet.

"I feel violated, betrayed and disgusted," Dubowik said, upon learning of the photo. "The longer I sit here the angrier I get."

Hansen, a trainee surgeon, apparently showed the photo to some of his colleagues after the operation. One of these people then anonymously called the Arizona Republic newspaper to report the incident. After the Republic reported the story, the Mayo Clinic announced that Hansen was "no longer practicing medicine" at the hospital.

The hospital did not specify whether Hansen had resigned or been fired. Hospital officials say they are still trying to identify the person who called the press.

The federal government has decided not to prosecute Hansen for violating the 2003 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which is meant to protect patient privacy. Violations of HIPAA are only misdemeanors, and no one in Arizona has ever been prosecuted under the act.

"HIPAA is not even the point," said Chic Older, executive director of the Arizona Medical Association. "Many ethical boundaries were crossed" by Hansen's actions.

Older said that Hansen's actions deserved disciplinary consequences, but acknowledged that at least the doctor's actions did not lead to physical harm. "He just made a stupid error in judgment," Older said, for which he has paid a "high price."

According to Older, the Arizona Medical Board might still decide to bring charges of unprofessional conduct against Hansen.

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