The photos of patients buried in unmarked graves can be a devastating reminder of the dangers that medical facilities face.
But that’s only the beginning of what’s at stake when you get buried in an unmarked grave, says Dr. Michael Pfeifer, a forensic psychiatrist who’s a co-author of “Ghost in the Graveyard,” a new book about medical facilities that was published this week by Harvard University Press.
“It’s very hard to look at what the patient is wearing and not be horrified,” Pfeif says.
“There are images of these things, there are images from their parents, there’s images from loved ones.
It’s a very painful image to have.”
The book explores how hospitals and other medical facilities can hide such things from the public, in the hopes that they won’t cause harm.
It examines how hospitals can avoid the stigma associated with having their patients buried by the bodies of their own patients, and how they can use technology to hide such images.
In “Ghost,” PFeifer describes how the image of a man’s face hidden in a grave in Connecticut’s largest city, Bridgeport, was a particularly gruesome one: It depicted a man who died of natural causes and who had been buried in a cemetery.
The image had been in the media for a long time, and there had been a lot of publicity about it.
But the image wasn’t used in the news.
In fact, there was nothing to indicate that the man had been cremated, Pfeiffer says.
The man, he says, was simply buried in the same spot he was buried.
The cemetery owner tried to sell the man’s body and tried to cover up what happened.
But it wasn’t enough, and the public began to learn that the owner was hiding the truth about the man, which led to the man being identified and his identity eventually being discovered.
Pfeife also talks about the problems that can arise when medical facilities hide the bodies and the effects that that can have on patients, who are unable to disclose what happened to them, and have to endure painful treatments.
“What can be done to minimize that?” he asks.
The photos, PFeiffer argues, should be kept from the general public.
“I would think it would be difficult to hide it in a place that you don’t think of as being particularly hospitable,” he says.
For example, hospitals and funeral homes can hide the identities of their patients, but the photos should be in a location that the public knows about.
PFeife also suggests that hospitals and medical facilities should be able to share images of their operations, including operations like embalming, to ensure that patients know what happens to their bodies.
“The idea that there’s this huge privacy gap is a big mistake,” he said.
Hospitals can also use technology such as video surveillance, and use digital imaging to keep track of their medical procedures.
These devices can provide a clearer picture of the operations that are being done, and make it easier for people to report problems.
“If there’s a privacy breach and the data that’s being stored is not what it should be, then it’s the medical facility, not the patient, who has a right to access that information,” PFEIF says.
He argues that hospitals should have more information on how the images are stored, how long they take to download and whether they’re being shared with other institutions.
“These are not necessarily the images that are going to cause a big uproar, because they’re not the ones that you’d think of, but they do give you a sense of what the medical facilities are doing,” he adds.