Justice for HIV Patients Whose Personal Information was Revealed in Mass Email

hiv-ribbon-by-Trygve-Utstumo

Target: Elizabeth McManus, Chief Executive of the Chelsea and Westminister Hospital

Goal: Reconcile the situation with HIV patients whose intimate details were accidentally released via a mass email and start using a professional email management system.

The personal details of 780 HIV patients were accidentally released in a mass email by a popular clinic in London called 56 Dean Street. The email was a monthly e-newsletter that normally hides the names and emails of the recipients. Thanks to a faulty BCC job, all the patients’ information was revealed, making public their status as HIV positive.

The clinic attempted to recall the email, asking recipients to delete it, then sent a mass email apologizing. It makes no sense that a company that handles such intimate details of someone’s life could make such a grave mistake, completely violating the privacy of the patients and breaking doctor-patient confidentiality.

People are questioning why the clinic doesn’t use a professional email management system that has special security set up to prevent situations just like this from occurring. One patient said he and others had not even requested the e-newsletter, further adding to the fact that the situation was an unnecessary blunder.

Patient confidentiality should be a top priority for a clinic like this. Urge officials to reconcile the situation with patients by providing personal support and to start using a professional email management system to prevent accidents like this from happening in the future.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Elizabeth McManus,

The personal details of 780 HIV patients were accidentally released in a mass email by a clinic owned by your hospital. Rather than really trying to remedy the situation, you simply attempted to recall the message then sent out a mass apology. This is not enough for the kind of extreme distress these people must be experiencing right now.

Why was the clinic not already using a professional email management system that has special security set up? A faulty BCC job like this should not have happened. Patient confidentiality needs to be a top priority. Situations like this cannot happen. I urge you to reconcile the situation with patients by providing personal support and to start using a professional email management system.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Trygve Utstumo

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