Officials face scrutiny after SNF employee shares photo of deceased resident on Snapchat

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A former resident care worker has been fired by Canadian health officials for sharing on Snapchat a photo of a deceased resident at a government-run long-term care home.

According to documents obtained by CBC News, a head shot of the deceased resident with a “very inappropriate” caption was sent to someone outside the facility using the social media app. The documents say the incident occurred in spring of 2015 at the Margaret Stewart Ellis Home in O'Leary, Prince Edward Island.

Several of the facility's employees who were interviewed by Prince Edward Island officials said they had received numerous “inappropriate and degrading photos and videos” of residents from the fired employee. The former worker denied having any connection to the photo sent over Snapchat and did “not recall” the other content that was allegedly sent, according to the documents.

The documents, which summarized the agency's investigation, have not been publicly released.

The Prince Edward Island government is now under fire for its handling of the incident, with some critics alleging that officials covered up the issue for more than a year. In a statement released by health officials, the department said, “we are unable to comment publicly on matters that involve the privacy and confidentiality of our patients or employees.”  

In an effort to address the scrutiny, Prince Edward Island's privacy commissioner, Karen Rose, has given the health agency 40 days to release additional information on the incident.