Hospital Nurse Who Took Kate Hoax Call Found Dead

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by lurvylurker, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    People embarrass each other in fun all the time - parents showing embarrassing photos at a 21st birthday party etc. They're not bullies, even though their intent is to embarrass. I don't like these sort of things either, personally, but I know plenty of people who, once they got over the initial embarrassment, also thought it was funny.
     
  2. DAngel

    DAngel Active Member

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    No reply equals consent?
     
  3. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    Sure, why not? It might as well be.
     
  4. jeffisjeff

    jeffisjeff Well-Known Member

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    I've been told that school districts often have a "more than once" requirement when defining bullying.
     
  5. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    It's also the dictionary definition (not more than once, but habitual).
     
  6. duane

    duane New Member

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    Exactly. If "doing anything that is intended to embarrass or humiliate someone" is bullying (which I don't agree with), then nearly everyone is guilty is bullying.
     
  7. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    At least in Merriam-Webster, "habitual" is in the definition of bully as a noun, not in the definition of the verb "bully". American Heritage makes the same distinction.

    I don't really think that's the righ word to describe what the dj's did, but at least these dictionary definitions don't require habitual behavior for an act to be bullying, but do for a person to be characterized as a bully.
     
  8. bek

    bek Guest

    And how much of this is broadcasted in front of a worldwide audience? One can mention to that pranking your friend-who you know. Well you also tend to know what that person can or cannot handle. Same with your child.

    These DJs didn't know the nurses what type of pranks they could or couldn't handle. Not to mention their were real world consquences to these nursers for this prank.

    So I'm sorry there's a big difference between parents showing embarrassing pictures and this.

    And when does it become bullying-well I think that depends on the person who is being pranked/bullied.
     
  9. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    All the definitions I read included words like intimidate. Here's an example:

    I don't see anything like this happening here. The DJs didn't intimidate or force anyone. As far as I can tell, they didn't even cajole.

    I hope we're not going to label everything we don't like as bullying now. I think it minimizes real bullying to use it describe things like this.
     
  10. duane

    duane New Member

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    I think if people want to "blame" anyone for this woman's death, blame the Indian culture where it is ingrained in little girls' head from day one that they are not to bring "shame" to the family. Clearly she erred in transferring the call, and though the hospital said she was not going to be fired, surely some kind of action (a verbal reprimand? Threat of being demoted or transferred?) was discussed. Perhaps this "shame" caused her to believe suicide was the only option.

    But again, it's not even yet official that she committed suicide.
     
  11. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

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    I think it was thoughtless as Kate was sick and did not need to be bothered with this sort of nonsense and that it put the two nurses in a bad position. But I don't believe these two people ever thought they were hurting anyone when they pulled this prank. Conversely one of my mother's friends said her daughter was given flowers and asked to prom and then stood up. She was not popular and this was done as a "prank." It was intentionally cruel. I think there's a difference.
     
  12. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    I find it difficult to believe that this event alone would cause a person to commit suicide. It seems to me a person would have to be depressed or suicidal for this to push him or her over the edge. She made an honest mistake.
     
  13. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    And it's interesting that her brother is the one who said she died in shame. How did he know she thought that what she did was shameful? He doesn't ever say himself that he disagrees with that. Maybe he's the one who thinks what she did was shameful, and she knew that he'd think that way. That's not dying in shame, that's dying in fear. We'll never know the reason she decided to kill herself, but I don't think this was the sole cause.

    It's really disappointing that this hospital has directed all of the outrage outwards, without looking inwards at what they could have done, and now can do, to help prevent things like this happening again. I hope this comes soon.
     
  14. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

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    Yes. It's one of the things I totally despise about it and one of the (many) reasons I left. It would be easier to miss my birth place if it wasn't such a constant source of embarrassment... :shuffle: But it isn't considered bullying, which is why it happens so often.

    Oh dear. We're on to semantics :lol:

    We're never going to agree. We all have different points of view, and if we pull up Australian and British dictionaries we may well get other definitions of bullying again.

    Speaking of though - the reaction of twitter users and the Daily Mail to the interview. They were being criticised for being silent, now criticised for speaking. Criticised to giving an interview and not a press conference, for crying, and even thought it was clearly stated they weren't being paid, somehow that rumour is going around too? :confused:
     
  15. bek

    bek Guest

    But this type of suicide DOES happen in India. Not every society feels the same way. If you are from a society that actively encourages suicide when shame has been brought upon your employer, family etc... Well.. And Angelskates the fact that her brother said it this way suggests this is the case.

    Not every society is like India with hahahaha! I fooled you. Some societies hold saving face and keeping honor to be the most important things.

    Apparently she was very devout Catholic. So unfortunately it may be culture winning out over religion...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2012
  16. antmanb

    antmanb Well-Known Member

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    Does it? Do you have any sources or information to back this up? Of the many different cultures and discussions of suicide, bringing shame to your employer is not one that i'd ordinarily associate with Indian culture.
     
  17. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    You may consider it semantics but I do think it's important that when there are cases of obvious bullying (like Cachoo's prom example or the recent example in the news about the school deliberately voting an unpopular girl onto prom court as a joke), the situation isn't minimized because it doesn't happen to the victim repeatedly.

    However, as I indicated, I don't consider this bullying of the nurses. I think it's more of a thoughtless indifference to others, which is what I think most practical jokes are. The joker doesn't really care what the impact is on the brunt of the joke;. I'm quite certain the DJ's didn't expect any sort of serious consequences but I doubt they thought about whether the people answering the phone would look foolish at their jobs.
     
  18. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    Here are some other, non-US, definitions, since this occurred in Australia and the UK:

    NSW Public Schools: http://www.schools.nsw.edu.au/studentsupport/bullying/definition/index.php

    KidSpot Australia, who use the National Centre Against Bullying definition: http://www.kidspot.com.au/schoolzone/Bullying-Definitions-of-bullying 4064 395 article.htm (have a look at what they emphasise bullying isn't as well)

    Definition of workplace bullying from the Australian Human Rights Commission: http://humanrights.gov.au/info_for_employers/fact/workplace.html

    Act Against Bullying (UK): http://www.actagainstbullying.org/advice/Parents/parent_to_parent.htm

    Health and Safety Exectutive (UK): http://www.hse.gov.uk/stress/furtheradvice/bullyingindividuals.htm

    All use words like persistent, repeated, over time.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  19. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

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    I didn't say it was. I didn't comment at all on it, apart from to say that the definitions will vary according to the source. My point was that the definitions may not be helpful, not that they minimise the situation in any way.

    This came up at my work yesterday. The point is, not every Indian nurse in that position would have reacted by committing suicide. Culture may be an influence, but it's not the overwhelming reason.

    Again, it comes back to her mental state prior to this. This may have been the straw that broke the camel's back, but take it from someone who lost a friend to suicide: it was not the only reason. People can be good at hiding their feelings. A close friend lost a friend to suicide last week, and it came as a total shock to absolutely everyone, including his partner and family. They saw him every day. You can't always see it coming. It's just tragic.

    In other news, the station is donating money to the family
     
  20. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    I was merely responding to your original post that indicated "habitual" was part of "the dictionary definition" of bullying. As your post indicates, there are a variety of definitions applied for different purposes and the writer in the Act Against Bullying link actually mentions that "There are obviously as many definitions as there are opinions" and then proceeds to list one possible definition.

    As I've mentioned already, I don't consider what the dj's did "bullying" but I understand that others might and I don't think there is one dictionary definition that invalidates their opinion. As Jen mentioned, people have a variety of opinions of this situation and perhaps one lesson from this incident is a reminder that we can't assume people will see things the same way and to try to be thoughtful of how actions can impact others - although I don't think anyone imagined this result from the original call.

    ETA:
    - Sorry Jen, I must have misunderstood your reference to semantics. Nice gesture by the station to make a substantial donation for the family. As I mentioned above, I doubt even most people who thought the call was inappropriate imagined this outcome.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  21. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I don't know what the protocol is in the UK. But, in the US the patient has to sign a form listing any and all persons who are allowed information about them. HIPPA is a nuisance when you're trying to get information about a loved one. But, in instances like this, it is a barrier. From personal experience, when my parents were in the hospital, very little information was given over the phone, if I initiated the call. The nurses were very forthcoming when I was there. But, I got most info when the doctors called me.

    Heck, we have an entire day dedicated to pranks and practical jokes - April Fool's Day. We have all (mostly) pulled innocent, harmless practical jokes on our family and friends. But, as has been said - in private and we know what they are able to tolerate.

    I agree, there is a difference.

    I am missing a piece of the information. How did the nurse's name get out?
     
  22. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    I don't know why so many people are focused on the minutae of hospital procedures for sharing medical info with family members, because IMO that's irrelevant to this story. If someone had called and said "I'm Kate's cousin" or "I'm a friend of William's" then surely they would have never got through. But this was allegedly a call from the Queen, so all bets are off. She's the Queen.

    The nurse who took the initial call might have been so thrown by the prospect of actually speaking with the Queen of England that she might have momentarily got frazzled and just put the call through. For all we know, William and perhaps Kate's family had already been calling in regularly, so a call from the Queen, as absurd as it sounds to us, might not have been that much of a stretch. Perhaps the nurse had spoken to the Queen or other members of the Royal Family in the past, as this is apparently the hospital they use. As for the second nurse, I don't think it's a stretch that since the call was put through, she assumed it was indeed the Queen.

    Wouldn't be surprised if immediately afterward the two compared notes and realized everything that was wrong with that call, and hoped no one found out about their mistake - until of course the DJs starting gloating to the whole world, and millions of strangers started pointing fingers and placing blame.
     
    numbers123 and (deleted member) like this.
  23. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I suppose that what I find so sad is that the nurses were made to feel so bad about this. It's really a shame that they were not able to see this for what it was - two jerks behaving badly. That they were innocent of any wrong doing and should not have felt embarrassed. They should have felt some anger that these idiots were so callous and the media and rest of the world should not have focused on the nurses being duped, but the jerks who did it.
     
  24. mikey

    mikey ...an acquired taste

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    It's HIPAA.
     
  25. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

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  26. AxelAnnie

    AxelAnnie Well-Known Member

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    DUANE
    Oh - wonderful thought. This, at least, makes it all make sense.

    I just keep coming back to this: Why was Kate in a place that was not secure? After Diana, and with all the excitement over William and Kate, and now the pregnancy......didn't they think ahead? How could there not have been a briefing? Clear standards and rules. Her own nurse IN THE ROOM, or at the door. Some official channel of information. And if the Queen of England calls.............(which, first off, you have got to be kidding) pass it off to the right person.

    And, prank or not, whomever picked up that phone on Kate's and gave out information........they need to be fired. I don't care who they thought was on the other end.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  27. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    But why are the DJs considered 'jerks' ? Anyone who pulls a slight prank now will be considered a jerk? I don't get all the harsh criticisms of what the DJs did. They called the hospital and pretended to be royalty and that was it. It was really harmless stuff: You called a place, pretending to be someone else as a joke to see if you can get information. The Djs did not expect to get anything at all from their call. I'm sure one of the Brady kids did this on The Brady Bunch and countless of other kids have done this in real life. Like some have mentioned, if the nurse committed suicide because of this incident then she had other issues going on. And if the nurse felt bad about what happened then it wasn't the Djs' actions that made her feel bad; It was the reactions of the people around her and the strangers laughing at her in the social media (and her own mental state). So go after those people instead. The DJs are unfairly being blamed for this woman's death.
     
  28. duane

    duane New Member

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    What if instead of several DJs, some coworkers had pulled this prank on the nurse? Who's knows, but perhaps the same outcome might have happened.

    And I disagree that the nurses "were innocent of any wrong doing". That call should have gotten nowhere, and it was wrong that it did.
     
  29. duane

    duane New Member

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    ^^^^^ this! Totally agree with the entire post (just didn't feel the need to post all of it).
     
  30. zippy

    zippy Active Member

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    This is my understanding as well, although while the media isn't a covered entity under HIPAA and can share information they get directly from patients (i.e., with permission), I do believe it would be illegal in the US for the media to get and publicize protected health information under false pretenses, as this radio station did. I'm not sure what the penalty is for that, though - probably not as severe as for someone who is a covered entity (i.e. healthcare worker, insurer). In the US HIPAA violations can not only get you fired, but it's a criminal offense that can result in up to $1.5 million in fines for the hospital and prison time for the individual depending on circumstances (up to 10 years I believe). There was a case where a hospital employee tried to take some work home with him and accidentally left his briefcase containing patient information on the subway, and the hospital was fined $1 million. There was also some scandal where it was discovered that UCLA hospital employees were looking up celebrities' medical records. It's especially serious when a case involves a celebrity because the information could be used for personal gain (selling the info to tabloids and whatnot). Being human and making an honest mistake, giving info because you think it's Obama or the Pope on the line, wouldn't be considered an excuse.

    So if this happened in the US a stunt like this may not be intentionally malicious on the part of the DJ's, who are young and likely didn't think through what they were doing, but in essence it would be malicious because of the harsh penalties a duped nurse might receive (although legally the onus is on the nurse to not be fooled), not to mention the sketchy ethics of trying to get and broadcast medical info you don't have a right to. I'm not sure exactly what the culture/laws are surrounding private medical information in the UK but I assume it's taken pretty seriously (if not quite such harsh penalties) given the reaction even before the nurse died. Anyway, not that US laws are really relevant here. In any case poor Kate must feel like she has no right to privacy at all, first with those pictures in France and now this.

    I really have no idea why it was so easy for the DJ's to get that information out of Kate's nurses, but the woman DJ did identify herself to the first nurse as Kate's grandmother, not the queen necessarily. "MEL GREIG: Oh hello there, could I please speak to Kate please, my granddaughter? NURSE: Oh yes, just hold on ma’am." I don't know if they would have thought it was supposed to be the Queen until later on when she started talking about corgis and the palace with fake dog yapping in the background, at which point surely they realized it was a prank, but the damage had already been done.