A patient’s privacy is violated by misinformation about his illness

13 shkurt 2023 13:48

Contrary to the laws that guarantee the confidentiality of diseases, as well as in violation of the journalists ethical code, there are cases when the Kosovar media, themselves being served with unverified information, misinforms the public about the diseases of people who are of interest to the public.

This was the case for one of the cast members of "Big Brother VIP Kosova", Gjon Karrica, who after health concerns was urgently sent for treatment to the University Clinical Center of Kosovo. Referring to an "anonymous source", Indeksonline has reported that Karrica has been diagnosed with HIV-AIDS. The same news was quickly spread on other websites and media.




After the news publication, the Infectious Disease Clinic gave a statement for Klan Kosova requesting the media to only refer to official information.

"There are no changes neither in the treatment nor the condition of the patient, Gjon Karrica, and we confirm that the patient's condition is stable. He is continuing treatment at the Infectious Diseases Clinic. We request everyone to only refer to official information and to address the information office at ShSKUK for everything", they wrote in their statement.

The publication of this unverified news has also prompted reactions from civil society organizations.

Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR KS) has asked the medium that first published the news to apologize publicly for the damage they caused by publishing this information. According to them, this doesn’t only damage an individual's reputation, but also public trust in the media. YIHR KS has submitted an official request to the Kosovo Print Media Council to take necessary measures against "Indeksonline", who have flagrantly violated the right to privacy.

Media lawyer Flutura Kusari also reacted to the news, saying that any claims about a person being HIV positive should be reported to Facebook for privacy violations.

"It is not important whether the person is HIV positive or not, what is important is that information about the health status can only be published with the approval of the involved party. This rule may not be applied only in very rare situations," she said.

Moreover, Kusari has added that she hopes the person in question will denounce the portals in the Council of Written Media of Kosovo (KMSHK) and in court.

After numerous reactions, "Indeksonline" has placed the responsibility on the source of the information, saying that the same one apologizes to Karrica, as the news has been deleted from their site.

"Indeksonline'' as a member of KMSHK must adhere to the highest standards of journalistic ethics and integrity. This news is still accessible in other mediums, even though it is untrue.


13 shkurt 2023