Widow Sues ABC for Airing Her Husband's Death

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A widow claims that ABC aired video of her Husband's last dying breath for the commercial and entertainment of others.

And now she's suing the Network for $5 Million Bucks

The NY Daily News writes that Widow Anita Chanko is suing ABC and New York-Presbyterian Hospital for failing to get permission to televise the last-ditch treatment her husband, Mark, received in the emergency room after he was run over by a car on E. 79th St. last April.

She didn’t even know the taping had been done until she flipped on the ABC show “NY Med” last August and saw her husband breathe his last and say the words, “Does my family know?”

“His last pain-filled words were recorded and broadcast for commercial and entertainment purposes, and he was deprived of a dignified death all for the financial benefit of defendants and the entertainment of strangers,” the lawsuit charges.

Mark Fox, a lawyer for the widow, a mother of five, said his client “was completely distraught” after seeing the broadcast.

“She had no idea he was conscious when he was brought into the ER,” he said.

Fox said Chanko watched in horror as doctors in the operating room talked about amputating her husband’s legs and dealing with extensive bleeding in his abdomen.

The man had a heart attack and died, prompting one doctor to ask his colleagues, “We all agree he’s gone?”

The cameras continued to roll as the chief orthopedic resident, Sebastian Schubl, left the operating room to notify the family of the death. Fox said only their backs are visible and none of their comments are heard on air.

Fox said the hospital and ABC violated Chanko’s patient privacy rights by not getting his permission to air the segments while he was still conscious.

“He didn’t waive his privacy by dying,” the lawyer said.

Jeffrey Schneider, a spokesman for ABC, declined to comment.

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