Protecting The Privacy Of Accident Victims
A measure designed to protect the privacy of Jersey accident victims could soon be signed into law.
The full Lower House has unanimously passed legislation that prohibits a first responder who is dispatched to or present at the scene of a motor vehicle accident or other emergency situation, for the purpose of providing medical care or other assistance, from photographing, filming, videotaping, recording, or otherwise reproducing in any manner, the image of a person being provided medical care or other assistance, except in accordance with applicable rules, regulations or operating procedures of the agency employing the first responder.
“This is not an injunction on our first responders who act bravely and save lives” says Assemblyman Craig Coughlin, “but the callous few who violate the privacy of the people they are charged with protecting – in an era where photos and videos can live in perpetuity online, no family should ever have to worry about distressing images of their loved ones being displayed without their consent.”
Assemblyman Herb Conaway agrees, saying “situations that require emergency medical attention are distressing enough without a victim or their family members having to worry about their privacy being invaded, this is a matter of respect and dignity, especially given the fact that victims or patients are usually in no position to grant authorization to these images.”
The measure defines “first responder” to mean a law enforcement officer, paid or volunteer firefighter, paid or volunteer member of a duly incorporated first aid, emergency, ambulance or rescue squad association, or any other individual who, in the course of his employment, is dispatched to the scene of a motor vehicle accident or other emergency situation for the purpose of providing medical care or other assistance.
The legislation now heads to the Governor’s desk for his consideration.