Beyonce Knowles and Jay Z welcomed their new baby — a daughter named Blue Ivy Carter — into the world this week. The celebrity couple has been the subject of many tabloid rumors ranging from allegations she faked the pregnancy and actually had a surrogate deliver the baby for her last week to saying that when the child was born they rented out an entire hospital floor so they would have privacy. As the rumor mills began churning out reports about the baby, the hospital director who claims the couple stayed at his facility began to get angry that the press his facility was getting was not 100% favorable — so he broke patient confidentiality and issues a press release. Here’s the story…
In a controversial move (that in some ethical ways violates all patient’s confidentiality), the hospital director where singer Beyonce Knowles and rapper Jay Z had their first baby has issued a press release. Now he’s famous and the celebrity couple appears silly (if they in fact authorized him to discuss the details of their private lives and new baby). In the document, the hospital directors strives to clear the air about whether or not rich and famous people can pay to rent out entire hospital wings to ensure the patient and their family members have complete privacy and are able to rest and recover after medical procedures in the lap of luxury.
The press release reads (in part) as follows. Lenox Hill Hospital Executive Director Frank Danza issued the following statement in response to what he claims are inaccurate news media reports regarding the presence of the Carter family at his hospital:
“Lenox Hill Hospital and its staff were delighted to welcome the Carter family for the birth of their firstborn on Saturday evening, but we are troubled by the misinformation being circulated in some news media reports. The suggestion that the couple paid $1.3 million to rent an entire maternity floor is simply not true. The family is housed in an executive suite at the hospital and is being billed the standard rate for those accommodations. Our executive suites are available for any patient, including the food service and amenities provided to the Carter family.
“The family does have its own security detail on site. However, the hospital has been and continues to be in control of managing all security at the facility. We have made every effort to ensure minimal disruption to other families experiencing the births of their own children over the past three days. No security plan that we or the Carters’ security team put in place would have prevented or delayed families from gaining access to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and to date, no families have complained to the hospital about being denied access to the NICU.
“Lenox Hill Hospital takes patient privacy and safety very seriously. And while we congratulate the Carter family on the birth of their child, we value the loyalty of ALL of our patients and always strive to ensure a positive experience, knowing that the birth of a child is a wonderful moment producing memories that last a lifetime.”
Understanding that at no time should a hospital or medical facility be allowed to disclose either the medical records or the financial status of any patient, was the organization ethically right to issue such a public statement about either the presence of or the financial arrangements (or lack thereof) they make with a patient?
When rumor mills reports began to circulate that the baby was born — and where — the hospital’s chief duty was to protect the confidentiality of their patients. If they received permission from Beyonce Knowles and Jay Z to disclose the details of their daughter’s birth, then the story about little Blue Ivy Carter being born at their facility might be okay. However, because they so openly address the fact that the celebrity couple are affluent, have their own private security, and even remotely discussed their bill was completely out of line and hyper reactionary.
Bottom line, while most entertainment news sources strive to provide readers with accurate details about celebrity lifestyles, some gossip is simply unsubstantiated rumors.
The proper response from the hospital director would be to answer direct questions with the answer that they are NOT allowed to violate patient confidentiality with regard to medical issues or finances, to not mention that Blue Ivy Carter was born there or that her parents are celebrities, and to simply present the press with a pamphlet that discusses executive suites amenities and fees.
Sending out a press release to combat celebrity gossip and rumor mills reports about urban legends that involve Beyonce Knowles and Jay Z having a baby was not only unprofessional, but may place the hospital in legal jeopardy for violating medical ethics with regard to patient confidentiality.