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Whomever said that 'there's no such thing as bad publicity' probably never had naked photographs of themselves posted on the internet. Sure, some celebrities built careers off purportedly leaked sex tapes, but the same cannot be said about the vast majority of women who have their before and after breast augmentation photos posted online by their plastic surgeon.
Breast augmentation can often be controversial. Some people have no problem sharing their experience with the procedure (though might prefer faceless and nameless photos), while others want their cosmetic surgery to remain private. In a recently filed Chicago lawsuit, a woman is suing her plastic surgeon for posting her before and after photos, despite her not providing the legally required consent.
In 2015, a woman, identified anonymously as Jane Doe in the lawsuit, went to Dr. Rajendra Shah for a breast augmentation. After agreeing to the procedure, she agreed to take before and after photos. However, when signing her paperwork for the procedure, she crossed out the section that permitted the doctor to post the before and after photos to the practice's website. It is also alleged that she verbally told the doctor that she did not want her photos posted online due to her distinctive freckle pattern on her chest.
Months after the procedure, despite withholding consent, her photos were posted on the plastic surgeon's website. Allegedly a year after getting posted, the woman visited the site and saw the photos. While her name and face were omitted, she feared that other viewers might be able to identify her based on her freckles. Although the doctor removed the photos from the website when notified by an attorney for the plaintiff, the case was still filed to recover $50,000 in damages.
When it comes to a person's private life, including their medical history, the law provides some limited but robust protection. Fortunately for victims, the First Amendment usually will not protect those who invade the privacy of another.
For instance, a person cannot just borrow your personal diary, access your medical records, or other private information, then publish that private info online without consequence. Under the law, there are numerous civil privacy protections, not to mention federal and state laws that govern privacy in the medical context. While a judge can order the private information removed from an offender's website or other medium, damages may have accumulated as a result of the publication.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.