Buckle up, because this story gets pretty wild. A hospital in India is currently being review bombed on Google after one of its staff–or at least someone claiming to be a doctor at the hospital–apparently shared a video of himself performing surgery on Twitter. In the accompanying tweet, the individual stated that he was “inducing anesthesia, intubating, and putting a patient on controlled mechanical ventilation for a laparoscopic cholecystectomy.” However, it’s not just the potential ethics violations inherent in such an upload that have people in an uproar. No, the surgeon, whose Twitter account was apparently embroiled in heated video game debates at the time, also opined in his tweet that “Xbots can’t argue facts.” While the procedure he described certainly sounds impressive, I prefer that my surgeons aren’t engaging in online flame wars over video game consoles while I’m under the knife.
The Twitter account, which bore the handle Shreeveera, has since been deleted, but screenshots of the video can be seen on the internet. Kotaku reached out to Shreeveera before the account was deactivated, but did not receive a comment.
Shreeveera, clearly a PlayStation fan, apparently created the video while in the midst of debating whether Sony or Microsoft makes the better console with some Xbox devotees. When some of those Xbox fans questioned the claim in his Twitter bio that he was a doctor, he created the video to prove that, yes, surgeons can participate in inane online feuds over console superiority too. Before the video was deleted, it showed a man wearing a mask in an operating room, as well as his patient and apparently some close-ups of the patient’s medical information.
The original video showed the letterhead of the Medihope Hospital in Bengaluru, India, and people soon began review-bombing the hospital on Google. Although Kotaku was unable to independently verify Shreeveera’s employment at the hospital, the negative reviews about the console war are much more verifiable.
Angry commenters pointed out that his actions were a violation of doctor-patient confidentiality, and argued that gamer arguments were hardly worth violating medical ethics over. In the wake of this kerfuffle, the hospital has a rating of just 1.1 stars out of 5 on Google at the time of publication. At least 28 reviews explicitly referenced the incident, though many of those have now been deleted. Here are a few sample excerpts:
Patient : I prefer playing Forza over GranTourismo
Doctor : Patient was dead on arrival
Be careful when you visit this particular hospital. One particular doctor will put up a picture of you on his Instagram and Twitter feed when you’re unconscious
Due to the negligence by one of your Dr’s shreeveera live steaming and doxxing a patents private information to the world on twitter that could have resulted in the death of the patient in the operating room table will won’t be reccomending this unprofessional hospital it reminds me of an episode of scrubs
While India is not covered under HIPAA (a law in the United States that protects patient privacy), medical doctors are still expected to maintain patient confidentiality. According to the Privacy and Right to Information Act of 2005: “Respect for the confidentiality of personal health information requires that healthcare providers do not disclose this information to others without the individual’s permission. Sometimes even acknowledging that a particular person is, in fact, one’s patient may constitute a harmful breach of that person’s confidentiality.”
An apology video was later posted to YouTube by someone claiming to be Shreeveera, though we cannot fully confirm that this is the same person as the man in the original Twitter video is wearing a mask. In the YouTube apology, the man admits that he made mistakes, and asks the gaming community not to doxx him. He also says that the patient had given their permission for him to create and upload the video. Which I find a little suspect, since patients under anesthesia aren’t really known for their ability to give informed consent.