We always hope that when we visit the doctor’s office for an emergency or check-up, our information will be kept confidential.
But there’s no way of knowing that will happen, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor thowaway543826292 was recently the victim of this when he found out his personal information was used as a source of entertainment.
When he discovered this, the Original Poster (OP) debated what to do next.
He asked the sub:
“WIBTA (Would I be the a**hole) if I reported my girlfriend’s colleague for giving away my confidential info?”
The OP was recently home alone.
“So I think it’s an incredibly clear-cut situation, but since my girlfriend is begging me not to, I don’t think I will…but anyway.”
“My girlfriend is a doctor and works in a small local hospital.”
“She went back to her parents’ for a week when she had a week off and I stayed in our home.”
He then had to visit the hospital.
‘I had a minor accident and an ambulance was called.”
“In the hospital, another doctor who I didn’t know came up and said he had a few questions to ask while I waited on tests.”
“Some basic stuff but also he asked some questions like, how long since you masturbated, are you sexually active, how many partners have you had/do you have currently, when did you last have sex, etc.”
“Since it was a doctor asking, I answered honestly.”
That information wasn’t confidential.
“All was fine until my girlfriend returned to work.”
“The doctor had apparently told everyone all my personal info.”
“Nothing scandalous, but he said to her, ‘Wow, it’s been 2 weeks since you have had sex, better do it tonight, so he doesn’t have to walk again.'”
“She was hugely embarrassed but I was furious!”
“He used my private info to spread gossip about my and my girlfriend’s sex life.”
“I absolutely wanted to report him, but my girlfriend says it’s not worth it and that everyone would blame her if he got fired.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some were insistent that the OP report the doctor.
“You would be a massive, massive a**hole if you did not report this behaviour. He’s doing it with you for mere gossip, he will do it more if he’s not stopped. This is not a tiny breach, thats a massive breach that means that the guy has done, and will do it again.”
“Not reporting it might kill someone sometime, and I am not exaggerating.” – SomeParrots
“OP, REPORT HIM NOW.”
“He did this to you, for gossip and humiliated you and your girlfriend. He will do the exact same thing to an abuse victim or a mentally distressed person, and it could very well have fatal consequences for them if the wrong thing is said to the wrong person and/or the humiliation/shame is too much.”
“Write a detailed account of the incident, including what was said to your girlfriend, and send it to his superiors. It will save a lot of people a lot of grief.” – purpleagluna
“It’s not just for gossip, I’m sure she has shut him down for his unwanted whatever and hurt his precious ego! Now he’s paid him her back!”
“Keeping quiet is giving him more power, this won’t end till you talk to the proper authorities. As in, do it now… no, literally, stop reading this and get on it!” – shanboat
“Give the hospital a chance to act appropriately. But report to the state board at the same time against him.”
“Then you can say, ‘The hospital was notified and I’m waiting for a response.’ And of course, if they blow it off, report that up the chain.” – Annual-Contract-115
Others pointed out this might qualify as sexual harassment.
“What are the odds he’s a sexual harraser at work?”
“This behavior indicates to me he’s intentionality targeting OP’s girlfriend because he can’t have her, so he’s going around saying:”
“‘I treated her boyfriend. She doesn’t put out enough, despite the fact she looks like a s**t/w***h. Look at little miss prude over there. Her boyfriend has to masturbate to get off. She’s got to be horrible in bed, etc etc.'”
“This is very concerning behavior and he needs to be called out on it. I recommend suggesting to your girlfriend transferring to a different hospital to avoid him while you go after him for everything he’s done. Hospitals and clinics are in desperate need right now and transferring may be her safest bet to avoid more harassment from Dr loose lips over there.” – LittlestEcho
“YES! Let’s recap:”
“1. He asked inappropriate, irrelevant, sexual questions of a patient.”
“2. He violated patient confidentiality and shared that information around the hospital. (Each instance of sharing is a violation, btw.)”
“3. He’s using that information to sexually harass your girlfriend. He’s creating a hostile working environment for your girlfriend! She fears retaliation. That’s textbook sexual harassment.”
“Run, don’t walk, to the nearest attorney for advice on how to file complaints with the state board of health (against the hospital) and the state medical board (against the doctor), and then sue them both. AND ALSO your girlfriend needs her own counsel to sue the hospital and the doctor for sexual harassment.” – chickenfightyourmom
“I’m also concerned because of the way OP phrased it, it sounds like this doctor went OUT of their way to ask these questions and OP may not have even been their patient.”
“He said, ‘In the hospital another doctor who I didn’t know came up and said he had a few questions to ask while I waited on tests.’ …Does that not sound like this wasn’t even the original doctor charged with caring for OP?!”
“Which then leads me to wonder how it was discovered girlfriend’s partner was in the hospital. More inappropriate sharing?” – izshetho
Though the OP wanted to respect his girlfriend’s wishes so she wouldn’t be bullied at work, the subReddit encouraged him to reconsider. With a violation like this, and very likely sexual harassment among the girlfriend’s coworkers, the girlfriend is sure to face more trouble if the OP stays quiet, not less.