The Clooney Effect

OK, so being near George Clooney turned me into a shoeless wonder for a moment.

At least I didn't put my job in jeopardy.

Hospital staff suspended for viewing Clooney chart

NEW YORK (Reuters) –
A U.S. hospital where George Clooney
was treated after he was knocked off his motorbike has accused
about 40 staff, including doctors, of inappropriately looking
at the movie star's chart, a union said on Wednesday.

The Health Professional and Allied Employees union in New
said seven of its members had been suspended for a month
without pay by the Palisades Medical Center — across the
Hudson River from Manhattan — over the incident.

Clooney, 46, who won an Oscar last year for his supporting
role in the political thriller "Syriana," fractured a rib and
his companion, Sarah Larson, broke her foot when the two were
knocked off his motorbike by a car late last month.

Union president Ann Twomey said in a statement the union's
nurses and health professionals may have been authorized to
view Clooney's chart. The union was investigating.

"While we believe that individuals need to be held
accountable if they violated patient privacy, we also believe
that the hospital had a responsibility to establish proper
systems to protect patient privacy," Twomey said.

"The hospital instead rushed to judgment and imposed harsh
economic penalties, instead of working to prevent future
breaches of security," she said.

Hospital officials were not available for comment.

In statement to local media, Clooney said: "While I very
much believe in a patient's right to privacy, I would hope that
this could be settled without suspending medical workers."

And yet, I sympathize: The power of The Clooney should not be underestimated.