January 30, 2023


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Media, Kongsfinger | Hospital silence after accidents: opens to speculation

Suspension This is a comment written by a member of the editorial staff. The comment expresses the opinions of the author.

Serious accidents primarily affect those involved and their loved ones. But it also affects many others. We care about each other and what is happening in our immediate environment, for example on our roads. When serious incidents occur, a justified need for information arises. High on the list of what we are legitimately worried about is whether things went well with those involved. It is now almost impossible to tell.

It is not a breach of privacy for the police to state that someone was seriously injured when the person concerned is sent to the hospital, but it is a breach of privacy if the hospital later states that the person is seriously, but not life-severely injured, than we understand. So an assessment of the extent of a person’s injury can be known when they are lying on the tarmac, but not what doctors generally think after more extensive examinations in hospital. Understand it who can.

And just so it is said; Neither we nor our readers need to know the details of injuries, the type of treatment a person receives, or whether the patient will suffer permanent harm. But information about whether the person concerned was seriously or lightly injured is also relevant for those who are not closest to the person concerned. In fact, we do not ask for more than information at this level.

Health care organizations point out their confidentiality obligations regarding privacy, and that the rules for this have been tightened all the time General Data Protection Regulation. Here, we believe that healthcare organizations interpret the regulations very accurately. It’s not about looking at if people are infected, it’s about providing the public with completely anonymous and synthesized health information. We can just see that there is room for that too after the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

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In the case of fatal accidents, it is also our experience for the police to release information about this.

For a long time, Helles Nord has had a more open information practice than other health organizations in this country. But since the new year, they have also tightened their routines, and are now facing questions regarding patients’ conditions after the accidents, without comment. Naturally, Marit Ulrichsen, Editor-in-Chief at Ranablad, is upset about this. in Commentary in the own journal She points to another troubling aspect of the silence with which hospitals now meet the public:

This allows rumors to be unleashed, and social media to become an arena for speculation and information of uncertain quality about the health status of the participants.

The situation is now, so to speak, equally bad throughout the country. This worries the Norwegian Editors Association.

“It is absolutely essential that we come up with a practice whereby information can be published anonymously on the part of health organisations. Complete silence from the most competent sources is not a good solution for anyone. Hopefully in the long term we can advise hospitals on what level they should be at when It is about providing information to media that editors control,” says the Secretary General of the Norwegian Editors’ Association, Rydon Kjelling Nybø, in a Article on own website.

We share NEBO hope. The development we are witnessing now only contributes to more inaccurate information, speculation and the spread of rumors. It’s hard to see the value for the patient. This line of silence from hospitals is a development that we as a society are not benefiting from.

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Dramatic events in the public domain raise a justified need for information, as well as about how those affected are performing. repeatedly; Not the details, but the general level. Editor-managed media is the best at meeting this need.