Kenyans attacked Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale on social media after he posted photos of wife who is recovering in hospital.
In his post on Friday August 18, Senator Khalwale shared photos of his wife, Josephine Umina, who underwent total knee replacement surgery.
“Thank you, my colleague and friend Dr Opondi, your entire surgical team, and the Aga Khan Hospital for the successful operation on my wife.
Mama Josephine Umina Khalwale is in high spirits as she recovers from total knee replacement surgery. We are happy! “Wrote Khalwale.
The photos showed Khalwale’s leg with bandages and part of her face. The patient appeared to be resting after the procedure.
Kenyans unhappy with Khalwale post
Although the majority of Kenyans online were quick to wish his wife a speedy recovery, others bashed Senator Khalwale for violating patient privacy.
“It is time we talk about patient privacy. The fact that she is your wife does not give you the right to post her photos on Twitter. Are you, not a medical professional?” replied Abiuth Maronga.
“Just because she is your wife you think she has not right to privacy. Not cool,” commented Sageka Wilson.
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At the same time, Antonio MO, asked Senator Khalwale to keep such matters private while Eric Mithamo, questioned the reasoning behind the behavior of posting patients in their helpless states, especially in hospitals.
“You didn’t need to post this. Some things should be left private Khalwale. Bad behaviour,” said Lillian London.
Furthermore, other users wondered why Khalwale, a medical doctor, posted images of his sick wife without her consent.
“We are happy for you but as a medic of long standing, you should be aware of the ‘Ethics violation” of taking patient’s photos,” said Jallango Nelson.
Patients Privacy Right
Patient rights under the Health Act, 2017 include the right to confidentiality.
The Act directs medical facilities and staff to retain as confidential information relating to the patient including their health status, treatment or stay in a health facility.
This can only be lifted by a court order or by the written consent of the patient.
This confidentiality is only exempted when it poses a serious risk to public health, for example, where there is a pandemic such as covid, Ebola or even an outbreak of a contagious disease like cholera or polio.
Other Patient Rights
Further, patients are entitled to other rights including:
1.The right to emergency treatment. Emergency treatment is defined as the “necessary immediate health care that must be administered to prevent death or worsening of a medical situation.
2. The right to information. Medical Practitioners are obligated to inform patients or if the patient is a minor/incapacitated to inform the guardian of the following:
- Patient’s health status.
- The range of promotive, preventive and diagnostic procedures and treatment options generally available.
- Benefits, risks, costs and consequences generally associated with each option.
- A patient’s right to refuse recommended medical options and have the implications, risk and legal consequences of such refusal.
3.Consent. This is a patient’s right to accept or decline medical treatment.