San Francisco General nurse: Why I'm against naming hospital after Mark Zuckerberg

Megan Knowles - Print  | 

The Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center nurse who accused the hospital of retaliating against him for speaking out against adding the Facebook founder's name to the facility discussed his position in The San Francisco Examiner.

The name change came after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, MD, donated $75 million to the hospital in 2015.

Sasha Cuttler, PhD, RN, filed complaints with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the California Labor Commissioner's Office Jan. 8. Dr. Cuttler, who has worked at the hospital intermittently since 1987, said the hospital will face greater privacy threats to patient information with  its name change.

"I began the protest against Mr. Zuckerberg's name on San Francisco General Hospital because I feared that would make our patients a target for future unethical research," he said. "Advocating for patients and defending their right to privacy is something taught to all nurses. Hospitals both publicly and privately funded need to stand up for ethical care."

In the op-ed, Dr. Cuttler expressed concern over the tension between privacy and self-expression.

"The omnipresence of cellphone cameras means that both hospital staff and patients could inadvertently reveal protected information," he wrote. "Even accidentally allowing identifiable information can lead to fines for hospitals and discipline for hospital staff."

In 2012, Facebook performed an experiment on about 700,000 research subjects without their knowledge or consent, leading patients to be more fearful of their healthcare providers and they information they hold, Dr. Cuttler said.

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