New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul suffered hand injuries during a 4th of July fireworks accident last weekend that resulted in his right index finger being amputated.
Adam Schefter's reporting on the incident has arguably drawn more buzz than JPP's amputation.
Schefter tweeted a photo of JPP's medical chart Wednesday evening, instantly causing a big reaction on social media. Within minutes, #HIPAA (in reference to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) was trending on Twitter.
ESPN obtained medical charts that show Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul had right index finger amputated today. pic.twitter.com/VI5cbS1uCw— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 8, 2015
Can't wait to see who gets fired for the HIPAA violation releasing JPP's records. Wow!! This is sad @espn— Lawrence Tynes (@lt4kicks) July 8, 2015
How does ESPN obtain and leak the pics of JPP medial charts? Is that even legal?— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) July 8, 2015
I'm going on a hunch here but I'm pretty sure that those medical docs obtain by ESPN are a violation of some sort. Not the smartest but...— Justin Tuck (@JustinTuck) July 9, 2015
Couldn't ESPN be culpable for releasing JPP medical records. Hope ESPN in counsel signed off on this. This could get ugly.— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) July 8, 2015
.@AdamSchefter You're a real piece of sh*t for putting that picture up!— James Harrison (@jharrison9292) July 9, 2015
HIPAA doesn't apply to media who obtain medical records of others. Invasion of privacy does, but 1st Amendment offers a good legal defense.— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) July 8, 2015
Unless Pierre-Paul consented to disclosure, someone (hospital worker?) violated HIPAA. Max HIPAA penalty: only $50K. https://t.co/ErvzocBonY— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) July 8, 2015
People: stop blaming ESPN on JPP records release. Not their fault. That's good reporting. Whoever leaked that is in the wrong, not ESPN.— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) July 8, 2015
If a medical provider leaked JPP medical information, that's a big HIPAA violation. Media like @AdamSchefter are not subject to those laws.— David J. Chao, MD (@ProFootballDoc) July 9, 2015
As someone who has obtained/reported medical records (Joe Mesi brain bleeds), I can state it is not illegal to receive or report them. (1/2)— Tim Graham (@ByTimGraham) July 8, 2015
The illegality is from a medical professional or institution sharing personal records without consent. (2/2)— Tim Graham (@ByTimGraham) July 8, 2015
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reported that "it’s likely that legal action will be taken against the person who leaked the document to ESPN."
Schefter is not legally in the wrong, but many believe his reporting was unethical.
For those asking, I wouldn't have posted that medical record without a signed release from JPP. There's nothing to gain from posting it.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) July 8, 2015
Did Adam Schefter think we wouldnt believe his JPP scoop w/o pic of medical records? I think people would eventually notice a missing finger— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) July 8, 2015
What does Schefter gain by posting the picture rather than just reporting it straight? And not jeopardizing his source's job?— Barry Petchesky (@barryap1) July 8, 2015
Violation of HIPAA or not, @AdamSchefter and @ESPN breached an ethical code and coaxed a stupid hospital employee to risk their career.— John Kriesel (@johnkriesel) July 9, 2015
I enjoy how ESPN Adam Schefter does his job, one of the best in the business, but I found ESPN/Him posting JPP's medical records tasteless— Anthony DiMoro (@AnthonyDiMoro) July 9, 2015
So now we've reached the stage of live-posting medical records. Slippery slope, indeed. There's still a line somewhere, I think/hope— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) July 8, 2015
Neither Schefter nor ESPN have commented on the situation.
If you were in Schefter's situation, would you have published the medical records? Share your thoughts in the comments below!