I have a POA on my father, can I stop my sisters from posting his pictures of him laying in a hospital bed? - AgingCare.com

I have a POA on my father, can I stop my sisters from posting his pictures of him laying in a hospital bed?

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RainMom, thanks also for sharing your experience and reinforcing the fact that schools and perhaps business people do understand the basic rights to privacy, as well as the legal implications for invading that privacy.

As to the social media phenomenon, I've been wondering if it appeals to (1) some basic loneliness in people who need to connect with others but don't know how to make friends or engage in one on one contact, or (2) people who don't really have the social skills for extensive personal contact, or (3) people who just follow whatever the trend is without thinking it through.

Or maybe there's a larger social trend in process by which people disassociate with each other and instead segue back to being loners, such as the voyageurs and other early colonization explorers were - living alone and basically having minimal interaction with others.

Every so often PBS used to run a documentary about a man who moved to someplace remote, Alaska, I believe, built his own cabin, emphasized total self efficiency, and lived like that for some years. I don't remember his name.

I kept thinking how isolated his life must be, and wondered if he never even craved the company of others. I guess not.

I also recall an engineering professor I worked for several years ago in a brief stint to try business outside of law. This man was sooooo antisocial that it was an effort for him to just say good morning. He came into work, just grunted hello if even that, went into his office and shut his door.

If he's still alive, he's probably in 7th heaven, being able to have to deal with people w/o having interpersonal contact.

Someday, some of these privacy issues are going to end up litigated at the highest level. In the meantime, social media techies can roll in the dough they're making from commoditization of personal data.
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Ages ago a photographer took a pic of my disable son while at school - he's a very good looking kid, if I say so myself! Anyhoo - I'm not sure how it works with typical kids but in special ed, here you are given a form to authorize pics for publication purposesat the start of every new school year. I never wanted my sons pic taken and always replied "no". So - as it turned out they put his pic on the cover of an industry magazine that goes out to all special ed departments/teachers in our state. They figured out after they had printed the magazine, but prior to mailing that they did not have permission to us my sons image. Let me tell you, there was a lot of fancy dancing done to get my authorization! I was not a happy camper about it but finally said "okay" as long as he nor his school/school district was named or identifiable in any way. As long as I live I will never understand the social media phenomenon.
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Dejavu, good insights and helpful analysis, especially as to the legal issues.
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Posting photos and even videos on social media of people in all sorts of invasive, embarrassing, compromising, and offensive poses and situations is so common that people take it for the norm these days. Call me old-fashioned, but I find it appalling.

The legality of it is another matter and one that sometimes can only be settled in court. Having owned an event video business and currently on the board of our local public access television, I can tell you that your sisters are putting themselves in shaky territory by their actions. The NH as well could be liable for invasion of patient privacy if they were to be challenged by either your father or someone acting in his behalf.

Someone mentioned that wedding pictures are on public display, so why not sick bed or death bed photos? There is a world of difference. A wedding is at least to some extent a public affair, while a hospital room or nursing home is not unless all concerned have consented to (a) being photographed and (b) having the photo published.

There was a famous case years ago when someone tried to sue Life magazine when he saw his image in a group of people on the cover. The picture was taken during New York's St. Patrick's Day parade and featured people celebrating while dressed in St. Paddy regalia. The judge ruled that the event was a public one and anybody taking part, especially when dressed in costume, was not under the protection of privacy laws.

I could go into more detail about the laws and the vast grey areas of what constitutes privacy, harassment, obscenity, etc., but the legal aspect aside, common decency demands that your sisters remove the photos from public view and refrain from any more such behavior. They need to find a better way to resolve the emotional rift between themselves and your father. When he is gone they will realize that their actions were simply wrong, but by then it will be too late.
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At its crux, this seems to be about a dysfunctional family situation. The picture-takers were neglected as children. Is this "get-back" time for them? Father doesn't know about it, so it isn't hurting him. OP knows about it and it is hurting her (him?). But apparently (?) siblings are not on good terms and aren't particularly motivated to look out for each other.

I don't any discussion about the ethical or legal implications here have any real baring on a solution. This is just one more of those very sad dysfunctional family situations.
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I think its horrible to take pictures of people at their worst. The question to ask is if they would appreciate it. I don't care for my picture taken and have come up against people who feel they have a right to snap it without permission. I've already told my girls I want a closed casket.
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bookluvr, In the part of the world I grew up in, posting pictures of family members in the coffin was socially acceptable. In fact, I have seen pictures of dead people in their coffins hanging on walls in people's houses. Many years ago I couldn't get to my Grandmother's funeral and the Aunts sent me pictures of her in the coffin so I could see how well she looked. They meant well, but just an odd custom.
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I would tell them exactly how you feel.. In my opinion what they did was cruel...

Try to explain to them what they did was something you all know he would never do himself..
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I agree with the posting of if he's smiling, waving, having a good time celebrating a birthday that's one thing. Sick, ill, coma, etc., that's another. I know my mom would be mortified if I posted a picture of her in her current condition. My sister passed 3 years ago and the same went for her as well. She would have put a curse on me that I would have never gotten away from! Yes, this generation is different with social media however our Son would never do that to my husband or myself. It's private. Heck, I don't even like unflattering pictures of myself to be posted, texted, emailed, however or whatever. That's just my take on it but I say take some really unflattering pictures of your sisters and post those and see how they like it! Good Luck and God Bless
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I might add, if you are objecting, then sue. If he has dementia, then he cannot give "consent" in which case it is exploiting an elder.
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