- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 9, 2015

ESPN reporter and analyst Adam Schefter is being criticized for tweeting a photo that showed the private medical record of New York Giants player Jason Pierre-Paul, who had a finger amputated on Wednesday following a fireworks accident.

The medical records, which Mr. Schefter said were “obtained” by ESPN, detailed what was happening to the finger and even included the exact time of the procedure, CNN reported.

His tweet was retweeted nearly 7,700 times.

“SO INCREDIBLY UNETHICAL,” tweeted one user.

“Dude…do [HIPAA] laws mean anything?” asked another.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, which protects patient confidentiality, started trending on Twitter following Mr. Schefter’s post, CNN reported.

ESPN responded in a statement later Wednesday night, saying “HIPAA does not apply to news organizations.”

Kelly McBride, a media ethics expert at the Poynter Institute, told CNN that even though HIPAA does not apply to news organizations, Mr. Pierre-Paul “could have a reasonable expectation of privacy here specifically around his medical records.”

“Of course it’s news” that a prominent NFL player lost a finger in a fireworks accident, she added. “But is posting medical records the best way to break that news? Even if you are operating super-fast, don’t you serve your audience better by gathering a little more context?”

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