The woman claims a  hospital employee accessed her medical records without her permission and revealed the contents to her boyfriend.
The woman claims a hospital employee accessed her medical records without her permission and revealed the contents to her boyfriend.

Medical records leaked to ‘abusive’ boyfriend – claims

A WOMAN who claims a public hospital nurse leaked details of her miscarriage and other confidential medical records to her "emotionally abusive'' boyfriend is suing the State.

Emily Louise White went to Robina Hospital after a miscarriage in mid-2016, and told staff who were treating her about her difficult relationship with her boyfriend, her claim says.

Her medical records contained details of the ''emotionally abusive relationship and emotional control'' to which she had been subjected during her relationship, it is alleged.

After she became pregnant with her boyfriend Nathan Miller's child, he allegedly became more controlling, her District Court claim says.

She feared the abusive relationship would escalate if he knew she had miscarried.

Lawyer Lisa Flynn of Shine Lawyers said Ms White miscarried in late June, 2016, within her first trimester, but was scared of her boyfriend's response if she told him then.

It is claimed on about August 20 that year hospital employee Jessica Viera accessed Ms White's medical records without her permission and revealed the contents to Mr Miller.

Ms Viera, a nurse, had not been part of Ms White's treating team and had no need to look at her records, the claim says.

The nurse, who knew Ms White's boyfriend, later told him of the contents of her medical records or provided a copy of all or parts of them, it is alleged.

Ms Flynn said Ms White had wanted to tell her boyfriend about the miscarriage at the right time.

She had booked a doctor's appointment so that her doctor could reveal the miscarriage, but her boyfriend did not attend.

She had then wanted to move away before telling him, and had applied for interstate jobs, Ms Flynn said.

The relationship between the couple deteriorated after the disclosure and Ms White became concerned for her personal health, safety and wellbeing, the claim says.

She allegedly suffered an adjustment disorder, anxiety and depressed mood as a result of the access and disclosure of her confidential information.

Ms White claims the hospital failed to respond appropriately to her complaints and concerns about the disclosure, or take appropriate action against the nurse.

"There are privacy laws in Australia to protect people,'' Ms Flynn said.

"No patient information should be shared with a third party, no matter who they are, unless there is permission.''

The District Court claim against the State of Queensland, for $409,705, alleges negligence, breach of contract, privacy and confidence and unconscionable conduct.

The State Government is yet to respond to the claim and Gold Coast Health said it could not comment on the case.

A spokesperson said complaints about breaches of patient confidentiality were taken very seriously.



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