The popular press is reporting that silver screen beauty Marilyn Monroe had plastic surgery. Her surgeon, Dr. Michael Gurdin, gave away Monroe's old medical records to a friend, who is now auctioning them off to the public. They make reference to Monroe's detailed medical history, including the fact that she apparently had a rhinoplasty and chin augmentation.
My concern with this news story is not Monroe's surgical past. Rather, it is the fact that these documents have been widely circulated. The fact that private medical records are being passed around, shared with the media, and sold is extremely disrespectful of patient privacy. Though Monroe is deceased, modern medical ethics require a person's written permission before any aspect of their care can be revealed to anyone.
My patients can rest assured that every single aspect of their privacy will be respected. No photos, documents, or records will ever be shared with anyone-- not even your best friend or spouse-- without your explicit permission.