A hospital attacked online on PlayStation and Xbox Flame Wars

A surgeon with gloves touching their tools.

Photo: Pramote Polyamate (Getty Images)

Buckle up, because this story is getting pretty wild. A hospital in India is currently being bombarded on Google after a member 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 said he was “inducing anesthesia, intubating and placing a patient on controlled mechanical ventilation for laparoscopic cholecystectomy.” However, it’s not just the potential ethical violations inherent in such a download that are causing outcry. No, the surgeon, whose Twitter account was apparently embroiled in heated video game debates at the time, also said in his tweet that “Xbots can’t dispute the facts.” While the procedure he described certainly sounds impressive, I’d rather my surgeons not engage in online flame wars on video game consoles while I’m under the knife.

the Twitter accountwhich carried the Shreeveera hilt, has since been removed, but screenshots of the video can be seen on the internet. Kotaku contacted Shreeveera prior to account deactivation, but did not receive a comment.

Shreeveera, clearly a PlayStation fan, apparently created the video while debating whether Sony or Microsoft makes the better console with some Xbox enthusiasts. When some of these Xbox fans questioned the claim in his Twitter bio that he was a doctor, he created the video to prove that, yes, surgeons can also participate in senseless online squabbles over the superiority of console. Before the video was deleted, it showed a man wearing a mask in an operating room, along with his patient and apparently some close-ups of the patient’s medical information.

The original video showed the header of Medihope Hospital in Bengaluru, India, and people quickly started Google bombing the hospital. Although Kotaku was unable to independently verify Shreeveera’s employment at the hospital, the negative reviews on the console war are much more verifiable.

Angry commentators pointed out that his actions were a breach of doctor-patient confidentiality and argued that the players’ arguments were hardly worth violating medical ethics. As a result of this kerfuffle, the hospital only got a 1.1 out of 5 star rating on Google at the time of publication. At least 28 reviews explicitly referenced the incident, although many of them have now been deleted. Here are some sample excerpts:

Patient: I prefer to play Forza rather than GranTourismo

Doctor: The patient was dead on arrival.

Be careful when visiting this particular hospital. One particular doctor will put a picture of you on their Instagram and Twitter feed when you’re unconscious

Due to the negligence of one of your Dr’s shreeveera, the livestreaming and doxxing of private patent information to the world on Twitter that could have resulted in the death of the patient in the operating room table will not won’t recommend this unprofessional hospital, it reminds me of an episode of scrubs

Yeah.

Although India is not covered by HIPAA (a law in the United States that protects patient privacy), doctors must always respect patient confidentiality. According to confidentiality and Right to Information Act 2005“Respecting the confidentiality of personal health information requires that health care providers not disclose this information to others without the consent of the individual. Sometimes even acknowledging that a particular person is, in fact, their patient can be a detrimental breach of that person’s confidentiality.

An apology video was later posted on Youtube by someone claiming to be Shreeveera, though we can’t fully confirm that’s the same person as the man in the original mask-wearing Twitter video. In YouTube’s apology, the man admits he made mistakes and asks the gaming community not to doxx him. He also says the patient gave him permission to create and upload the video. Which I find a little suspicious, since patients under anesthesia aren’t really known for their ability to give informed consent.

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