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Estonian nurse slammed for Facebook posts of dying baby

The Facebook logo is shown at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California May 26, 2010. (Reuters/Robert Galbraith)

Tallinn: A nurse came under media fire in Estonia Thursday after she posted a photo of a dying three-month-old baby on her Facebook profile along with the child's confidential medical data.

"I had no idea I can't post the photos I take at the hospital and my comments about my work on Facebook," the woman told Estonia's leading Eesti Paevaleht newspaper.

No further details were provided about either the woman or the baby other than the incident occurred at Tartu University hospital in southern Estonia.

The facility said Thursday it will launch its own investigation into the case and will decide whether and how to punish the nurse.

"My friends also describe their work on Facebook, so I thought I can do it too," the woman told Eesti Paevaleht, while also admitting she had not asked the child's parents permission to either take or post the photo.

All medical staff in Estonia are required to sign agreements vowing to respect patient confidentiality.

The nurse also posted about other medical procedures she had performed on an ailing four-year-old.

"We are all learning how to behave on social media, but actions like this by any nurse should be strongly denounced," Ester Pruuden, head of the Estonian Nursing Association, said in a press statement Thursday.

Estonia, an ex-Soviet republic of 1.3 million people, joined both the EU and NATO in 2004.

 

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