Update: Taking a Photo with a Placenta Won’t Get You Kicked Out of Nursing School
Jan. 7 2011 – 2:19 pm
Doyle Byrnes, the Kansan nursing student who was kicked out of her program after posting a photo of herself with a tasty-looking placenta to Facebook, had support from the media for her right to share non-personally-identifiable body organs with her Facebook friends. Now a federal judge is backing her up too.
On Thursday, Judge Eric F. Melgren “shot down” the arguments that Johnson County Community College’s lawyers made for why Byrnes and three of her classmates got the boot for the placental photos, according to the Kansas City Star:
In Melgren’s ruling, he found:
- Photos are taken to be viewed, and if the students were given permission to photograph the placenta, it became irrelevant what they did with the pictures.
- There was no violation of any patient’s privacy because there was nothing in the photos to identify whose placenta it was.
- Byrnes was not allowed a fair hearing on her dismissal.
Melgren orders that the students all be reinstated to the program. And so a privacy overreaction is righted.
But before you dash out and start snapping and posting placenta photos to your heart’s delight, know that there are downsides. During the hearing, Byrnes said she’s concerned that her “name is all over the Internet.” “All you have to do is Google ‘placenta,'” she complained to the judge (meaning future patients might be wary of leaving her alone with their afterbirth?).
Unfortunately, that’s a problem Melgren can’t solve for her.
Nursing student wins Facebook placenta photo case [Kansas City Star]