Hospital Nurse Who Took Kate Hoax Call Found Dead

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

  1. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

    11,614
    1,371
    113
    My understanding is it was only released when she died.

    The corgis were played by the producers. People pretending to bark...very realistic.

    The station hasn't actually revealed who was responsible for the call going to air. It wasn't the DJs and whatever the lawyers said, someone else was responsible for the final decision.

    I read the djs are having intense psychological counselling. So many lives have been ruined through this. I can't help but wonder...if the tabloids had never given any attention to the prank, rather than going into outraged overdrive, would the outcome have been the same?
     
  2. susan6

    susan6 Well-Known Member

    3,706
    709
    113
    This. I'm going to go ahead and be "that guy." If I wind up in a hospital (particularly if I'm carrying the heir to the throne), I want every employee of that hospital to be the best of the best. Hospitals by their very nature are places where decisions and basic competence can determine life or death. I don't want them to have an employee who's too clueless to recognize a fairly obvious prank call, who is unfamiliar with basic privacy regulations, and who is mentally unstable enough to "die of shame".
     
    julieann and (deleted member) like this.
  3. DAngel

    DAngel Active Member

    718
    99
    28
    Some of us think people shouldn't play pranks on hospitals. Some things should be out of bounds.

    Simple as that.
     
    milanessa and (deleted member) like this.
  4. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

    2,540
    290
    83
    I would have a lot less problem with the prank if say Kate and William were skiing and someone was try to call them in their room at the chalet. You can bet though that the concierge would be militant about protecting their privacy. But Kate was ill and I do have a problem when you attempt to pester people in that sort of setting.
     
  5. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

    3,934
    389
    83
    I haven't listened to the call or read the transcripts, but based on what you put in your post, they didn't even specify what Kate they were looking for at first. It could have been any random Kate, not necessarily 'the' Kate.

    Definitely makes it easier to accept the transfer of the call if the nurse didn't know it was the Duchess they were seeking at that time.
     
  6. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

    17,561
    1,170
    113
    Yes, :), senior moment!

    They were jerks for the way they handled it afterward. And I think DAngel said it best - you don't pull pranks on hospitals or sick people.

    I don't blame them for the woman's death. That, sadly, was her tragic decision. But, I do think what the did was reprehensible. Illness is not funny.
     
  7. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

    916
    114
    0
    But that's the problem with a prank. It's usually seemingly clever, funny, and innocuous, until it ISN'T. I posted upthread that elevator prank video, and I admit I laughed at it. Then I thought "What if any of those older people had a heart attack out of fright?" or what if someone attacked the little girl? A funny prank can turn into a disaster quickly, even leading to an unfortunate death.

    I also don't think anyone is claiming that this was a totally happy, completely emotionally sound person who suddenly due to this prank caused her to suicide. Who knows what her work situation was? Maybe she felt discriminated against at work, that her coworkers disliked her and made fun of her, her boss was just looking for any thing to fire her on and hovered over her like a hawk, and so she was just walking on eggshells all day? Maybe her life was a living hell in a physically abusive relationship and she was just trying to get through each day, do the right things, and hope it evens out? Then this happens, her name is tarnished, and she couldn't take anymore of it? I go out of my way to compliment people now because that might just be the one nice thing that is said to them that day. I know I've been there, and just one nice thing said to me would raise my spirits up considerably.

    I just think that diagnosed mental illness, or even undiagnosed, should not be disregarded or minimalized. If someone had a heart attack on a prank where someone was scared half to death, I'm sure most people would agree, this person would not have had the heart attack and died. Forget that a healthy person who took care of his/her body probably should not have 90% blockage in their coronary arteries and die from a prank. Yet when someone with a mental illness suffers from a prank, it seems more people are likely to just say "Well there was more to it, than just the prank, she clearly had issues". Yeah, well the person who died in fright also clearly had other issues too like cardiovascular disease usually caused by diet and lifestyle.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  8. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

    17,561
    1,170
    113
     
  9. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

    2,540
    290
    83
    Good points Alex and when I saw the elevator prank I was so glad it wasn't me because I would have slugged the girl out of terror and then been appalled when I found out that I had hit a child. I am more lenient with the dj's than the boy who asked the girl to the prom and stood her up because he went out of his way to be cruel. Even so I must admit the dj's set in motion a series of events that turned tragic and the fact that they did not intend the outcome does not excuse their behavior.
     
  10. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

    11,614
    1,371
    113
    Yeah. No. You should listen to it. There was no mistake.
     
  11. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

    916
    114
    0
    It's because it's not common to just say something nice with really nothing in return, apparently. It doesn't change my actions. And frankly, I know that look in the eyes. A kind word goes very far. To one it doesn't register, to others it might be the light in their day. I err on the 'make someone happy' error.
     
  12. ballettmaus

    ballettmaus Well-Known Member

    1,844
    277
    83
    Was she a nurse or a receptionist? If she was a nurse and was so mentally instable that that call she passed on to the station, which, personally, I don't think was the big deal, the "big deal" was that the second nurse gave out the information, was the final straw to drive her into suicide then what on earth was she doing working in such a mentally and physically straining job?
    I find that everyone's at fault, the DJs, the radio station, the nurses or hospital depending on what hospital policy is, however, the nurse who died, in my opinion, is the done who's the least to blame. She just passed on a call...

    That aside, German newspapers have repeatedly reported that the British media has labelled it a suicide and that the investigation is ongoing and cause of death has not yet been confirmed. For all we know, she could actually have died of a heart-attack...
     
  13. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

    916
    114
    0
    Right, so it's more 'legitimate' to die from a heart attack due to her health/lifestyle, than if she suicided due her mental health/lifestyle. Not buying it. It's actually making me quite angry.
     
  14. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

    17,561
    1,170
    113
    Me too! :)
     
  15. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

    17,561
    1,170
    113
    Opps
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  16. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    17,078
    3,562
    113
    These pranks aren't even meant to get information. The whole premise behind the joke is that the audience and the caller knows something that the person being called does not know. They just want the other person to talk because they will probably say something inadvertantly funny that's only funny because the audience knows what's going on. They didn't really care about Kate's condition and the purpose of the call wasn't to find out information about Kate. These pranks can work even if the person picking up the phone gives them a hard time and tells them nothing.

    Part of why I rarely find these sorts of jokes funny is that often times the person on the other end isn't a quick thinker and so there really isn't anything there. If you get someone who figures out it's a prank and goes along, that can be funnier than if the person never catches on because that person is a quick thinker and will say droll things.

    Except it's not. As you said, HIPAA doesn't apply to DJs and there really isn't any other law that could be invoked.
     
  17. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

    916
    114
    0
    Right. Unfortunately it is the well-intentioned nurse that should lose her job. The DJs were just doing their jobs of pranking and creating mayhem. Should they be off the hook, so to speak? I think not.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  18. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

    11,614
    1,371
    113
    It's unconfirmed, but the reports are that she was found hanged. It's pretty hard to confuse that with a heart attack, although I agree if she'd just been found unconscious, then it could have been anything.

    The coroner's inquest will be opened tomorrow. I guess only time will tell.
     
  19. zippy

    zippy Active Member

    575
    99
    28
    It's written on several hospital media guides and other info out there for journalists that it is, if 'false pretenses' are involved. Here's a quote from one such media guide from Baton Rouge General Medical Center:

    After checking out a few legal journals I got the impression there's some debate about this. Some argued that the language of the law means that anyone, covered entity or not, who causes PHI to be breached is subject to HIPAA penalties, but on the whole it seems more accepted that it only applies to those affiliated with a covered entity. So it's possible that people making the media guidelines are just erring on the side of caution. Still, if not applicable under HIPAA there's privacy tort law.
     
  20. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    17,078
    3,562
    113
    From what I understand, the Baton Rouge General Medical Center is being overly generous in their interpretation of HIPAA and I suspect they are just hoping people follow that and don't push it. It would be great if a lawyer could weigh in though.

    Though HIPAA doesn't apply in the UK or Australia so I guess it's moot.
     
  21. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    6,485
    524
    113
    Exactly. How many people who are friends and family of suicides had any idea that the person who killed themselves was at a point of doing it? Generally, it's the suicidal who actually go through with it (rather than people who admit to being sucidaly depressed and get help) where people say after the fact they never suspected, the person didn't SEEM suicidal, etc.

    FWIW, I have heard some reports that she was already feeling pressured at work, not necessarily on the best terms with coworkers, etc. I won't say "bullied" because I haven't seen any evidence, but it was implied at least she wasn't surrounded by friends and was under pressure. Rather than a cause (and given how little time she actually seems to have been on the call and what it sounded like, I think saying she was IN ANY WAY bullied by the DJs is taking that definition to absolutely absurd lengths) possibly the thought that she was going to be disciplined professionally, mocked by coworkers, etc. might have been the last straw for someone already on edge, depressed, scared, something. I wouldn't even say that this MADE her do it. Suicide is a voluntary action (certain cultural and political situations aside). No one MAKES someone else kill themselves. But this might have been one stress too many, and we DON'T really know how the hospital administration and her coworkers were initially treating her and the situation. I would like to know what her work situation and relationship with her coworkers was like before assuming that one five-second contact with people 15,000 miles around the world doing a relatively goofy prank was solely responsible for her killing herself.
     
  22. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

    3,689
    346
    83
    She also left a 'note'. I guess someone could do that if they are dying from natural causes; but I highly doubt it.
     
  23. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

    11,614
    1,371
    113
    This.

    I really doubt anything will ever come of this, legally. I tend to think charges would have been laid before now, and the police haven't even spoken to the DJs at this stage. They could be waiting for the outcome of the enquiry but the station's 'contribution' to the family probably amounts to a settlement.

    The DJ didn't even say her "I'm the Queen" bit until AFTER the information had been given out, so if the entire claim rests on a bad fake accent and people barking like corgis while someone asks to speak to her granddaughter (who isn't REALLY her granddaughter), I think it's stretching it.

    It was a bad prank, it went wrong, there was outrage, but law doesn't always agree with morals.
     
  24. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    12,827
    2,550
    113
    It's not the false pretences that may bring charges, it's putting it on air without permission, apparently. The NSW Police have interviewed the DJs on request from London. There will be a full enquiry/inquest before the coroner's report is released to the public. ACMA is now investigating as well. I still really can't believe that there aren't also investigations on the hospital's policies with regards to privacy and correct staffing.
     
  25. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

    11,614
    1,371
    113
    There may well be. It's a private hospital so it's not as transparent as a NHS one would be.
     
  26. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    12,827
    2,550
    113
    I think it would in their best interest to make that public, though I don't think they want to admit any fault.
     
  27. skipaway

    skipaway Well-Known Member

    7,615
    1,625
    113
    Nurse's Death

    Yep, unfortunately, she hung herself and left 3 suicide notes. Just an overall tragedy that could easily have been prevented.
     
  28. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

    11,614
    1,371
    113
    I think you've nailed it. Admitting fault could cost them the Royal Family, and they don't want to do that.

    The inquest has been adjourned until the end of March, and I guess we won't know much more before then.
     
  29. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    12,827
    2,550
    113
    Easily prevented how? If this woman was mentally unstable enough to kill herself over this, it's likely something in the future would have tipped her over the edge, and that's assuming the call is what she considered that 'last straw'. Suicidal people rarely seek help that makes a difference.

    If the Royal Family stay at this hospital again, they're crazy.
     
  30. leesaleesa

    leesaleesa Active Member

    701
    163
    43
    My ex's ex was a nurse who wrote several papers on horizontal violence. Her experience was that older, experienced nurses who had worked together for a time tended to bully new and inexperienced nurses to the point that some would quit the profession, others became perpetual victims, or worked their way up the clique to continue the circle. From some of the experiences I have had with a few case nurses in my department, I have seen that dymanic, and imagine it would be tenfold in a hospital environment.

    Maybe it's a case of high stress, a competitive and sometimes hostile work environment, and personal issues moreso than a stupid prank.