Two Naval Hospital Jacksonville corpsmen were removed from patient care Sunday, Sept. 17 after photos showing inappropriate behavior with a newborn baby became viral online.
The photos and videos, which show a hospital staff member improperly handling a baby, were shared more than 300,000 times on Facebook in less than a day. The video depicts a staffer in their uniform holding up a baby by its torso and moving its arms around and "dancing" as rap music played in the background.
There was also a screenshot of a Snapchat post that appears to depict a staff member giving the child a middle finger gesture. The author of the said image also referred to newborns as "mini Satans."
"How I currently feel about these mini Satans," the caption read.
Inappropriate Photos, Video With Babies Go Viral
As KSAT 12 reports, the hospital's commanding officer confirmed he knew about the inappropriate photos by Monday, Sept. 18. In a statement posted on Facebook, he called the behavior "outrageous, unacceptable, incredibly unprofessional, and cannot be tolerated," and that the persons involved were under criminal and military investigation.
Attorney Sean Cronin, who has previously filed medical malpractice against the hospital many times, was stunned by the video.
"I've never seen anything that is so blatant and malicious," he said.
Staff Involved Currently Under Investigation
According to Cronin, corpsmen are equivalent to Certified Nurses Assistants, and they are in turn supervised by doctors and nurses. They are enlisted Navy personnel, not licensed medical professionals. But surely a person doesn't need to be licensed to know that improperly handling a baby is dangerous.
"This type of behavior is incompatible with the Navy's core values of honor, courage and commitment, as well as medical ethics," said Jessica Alexander, Deputy Public Affairs Officer.
They have identified the staff involved, said Alexander, though they weren't able to provide their names because of the ongoing investigation. Naval Hospital Jacksonville said its own nurses were not involved.
Retaliation from social media was immediate. Many reacted strongly from seeing the inappropriate behavior on the video, and some called for the persons involved to be fired.
One woman who gave birth to her son at Naval Hospital Jacksonville a year ago said her experience had been wonderful. So, seeing the video must have been a surprise. She also recognized the woman in the video as the same person who handled her newborn.
What penalties await the two staff members involved remain undetermined, but by the looks of things, they'll likely to be dishonorably discharged from their military posts, in addition to the possibility of facing criminal charges for the way they handled a newborn baby.