Yesterday, Dear Abby gave the worst advice I’ve ever heard and I only hope this gets to the poor woman who wrote in before she follows it.
A wife and nurse presented the following scenario- her husband was a patient at the hospital she worked at and she pulled up his records just out of curiosity. She saw that his doctor had noted, “HIGH RISK FOR SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES.” He’d had multiple tests, treatments, and work ups for these throughout their marriage while their own sex life was minimal. She asked Abby what she should do and if she should bring up what she discovered with her husband. Abby replied that what she had done was illegal but she should defiantly talk to him about it and rethink the status of the marriage.
Here’s the problem with the advice- what this nurse did is not only illegal, it is a federal crime. The least that will happen is that her husband will make a windfall in suing the hospital for the violation and damages, probably for a divorce directly related to the lack of protection of his health care information. This poor woman will also lose her license to practice medicine and incur fines and possibly jail time. She will at least be brought up by the medical board.
What she should do is say nothing about what she found but immediately discontinue having sex with him. She should get herself a good physical and catch him in another way, through phone records or a private detective. As he wasn’t too careful in the first place it probably won’t be hard to prove his infidelity another way.
If this husband is not rich losing her job and livelihood won’t be worth not waiting just a bit to get divorced.
Dr. Brilliant Cliché
CC: Dear ABBY and the sunchronicle.com