Sierra Samuels: Florida nurse fired over mocking pics of newborn with birth defect
Samuels was placed on administrative leave last month after the photos surfaced
A Florida nurse, Sierra Samuels, was fired for posting pictures on social media which mocked an infant with a birth defect, authorities noted. Sierra, a neonatal intensive care nurse at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, was fired on Thursday, September 30. Her firing comes after an investigation that began early last month after two photos of the newborn with an abdominal wall birth defect were posted to her Instagram account and came into authorities' notice.
"My night was going great them boom!" one of the posts by Samuels read. It showed a photo of the newborn taken inside the hospital’s newborn intensive care unit. A second photo on Samuels' Instagram showed the newborn again and had a hashtag citing the child’s birth defect, 'Gastroschisis, ' in which a baby’s intestines are found outside of the body, exiting through a hole beside the belly button. "Your intestines posed to be inside not outside baby!" she wrote beside the picture. Samuels’ Instagram profile which has more than 600 followers, is marked private, and identifies her as a 'mommy,' 'dry cereal consumer, ' 'professional book reader' and a 'bipolar lover'.
Samuels was placed on administrative leave last month after the photos surfaced. "Employees who violate these privacy rules, despite being educated, are subject to disciplinary action included suspension or termination," a statement by the hospital officials said.
Samuels had worked for the Miami-based Jackson Health System since 2016. Miami attorney David Weinstein noted last month that Samuels not only breached the newborn’s privacy but also violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. "In addition to the general HIPPA violation that we’d be looking at here, there’s a sense of decency about the rights and expectations we all have in our likenesses and our images. With images, you have a certain expectation of privacy that if you’re in an area that you believe to be private and in this case a hospital, even more so," he said. The child’s mother was notified of the privacy breach.