(No pics) Posting photos of terminally ill people on social media?

posted 2 years ago in Family
Post # 16
349 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

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lemonsandlife71 :  I do understand. Sadly. It is very hard because whilst your Uncle is clearly having a horrendous time, so is your Aunt. I doubt she is thinking quite clearly and having been in her shoes, I would not want to say or do anything that is going to make her feel bad. That said it’s probably impossible to make her feel worse than she already does. 

It is probably not worth you getting upset about – ultimately she can do what she wants. I think all you can do is not engage with it and try to nicely remind her….  

Post # 17
13519 posts
Honey Beekeeper
    I know someone who did something similar. 
    While I’m not clear whether permission was ever explicitly denied, the person was really in no condition to consent to anything. People were equally horrified, but as far as I know no one ever said anything. 
    But it was definitely for attention. And in your case maybe the money, too, to keep the situation front and center.
    That said, I think reporting this would only cause more trouble. And if your aunt is his representative, I’m not sure they’d do anything about it, anyway.
    I do however think someone can possibly say something about your uncle’s wishes and how upsetting these images are. Maybe the best strategy is to come across as tactfully as possible, asking as a “favor” and telling her you understand that it may be a way for her to cope, but hoping she will understand how much it upsets his closest relatives. This may not go over well as his kids already sound threatening and she sounds a bit irrational in the best of times. You will have to make that judgment. Ultimately you may all have to just unfollow her. 
    But I’m with you and think what she’s doing is gross.
Post # 18
206 posts
Helper bee


I’d consider telling her gently, if you don’t feel comfortable anonymously flagging (though from your brief description of her and her sons, flagging may be more effective).

“Aunt Sue, I can’t imagine what you’re going through seeing Uncle Ben in this state.. I’m sure it must be very traumatic.  I just wanted to point out Uncle Ben was really explicit in telling you he didn’t want photos of him like this on facebook.  Don’t you think his wishes should be respected?  He’s your husband and I don’t want to meddle.  I love you both very much and I’d never let him know what you’re doing as it’d crush him.. but I’m not the only family member who knows how he feels about the matter and who can see you posting.”

If that’ll go over like a pile of bricks then I’d for sure just go with the report route.

Post # 19
1725 posts
Bumble bee

Yikes I am sorry. That is awful. I even hate it when moms post photos of their kid young kids with long captions about how they are having to take them to the doctor etc. LIKE WTF PEOPLE social media is not the place for informing the world that your kid has a cold and posting photos of them. So gross and inappropriate. But people do do that, so she probably thought it was ok too, even though her posts are WAY more extreme. I am sorry bee. I would say just keep reporting her photos and posts about it. It is annonymous and no one would know it was you. Have others do it too if they can keep it to themselves that they are reporting her. Who cares if it upsets her, this isn’t about her it is about his wishes to not have those photos up. 

Post # 20
671 posts
Busy bee

I wouldn’t talk to her. It’s pretty likely that she doesn’t change her behavior, and after a conversation, she’ll immediately think of you if her pictures are taken down –> drama. 

Post # 21
1557 posts
Bumble bee

This is a massive invasion of his privacy and dignity and clearly done for her to gain attention. I don’t care how upset you are you don’t take photos of someone during their worst moments and post them on social media when they have explicitly told you not to. There is no excuse what so ever. 

I work in healthcare and unfortunately have seen this kind of thing frequently, we have a policy in place that no one (including relatives) can take photos of a patient without their consent. If they do and refuse to delete them or stop then they are removed from the premises. I would speak to his nurse or doctor about this and if they have a similar policy they may be able to have a word with his wife and explain to her how inappropriate her behaviour is and that it’s against hospital policy, and probably Facebook policy and even the law. 

Post # 22
7995 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I worked in hospice care for 13 years and it really boils down to the patient’s wishes. I’ve seen some lovely pictures of families gathered around hospital beds with their terminally ill loved one, and dying patients holding a new grand baby for the first (and last time). But those people were willing participants and it wasnt done behind their back. It’s a shame your aunt can’t respect your uncle’s wishes.

Post # 23
2859 posts
Sugar bee

I have worked in healthcare since I was old enough to work. Your uncle is dying. He doesn’t want people he knows to see his deterioration, and as several Bees have said, he wants his dignity to remain intact. He stated he did not want those pictures posted. How can you ignore the wishes of someone who is dying?

Report her to Facebook. She won’t know who reported her. No one deserves to have their suffering put out there for public consumption, unless it is with their complete permission. He made his wishes clear, and if he’s too exhausted by FIGHTING CANCER to argue with her about it, you must stand up for him.

Post # 24
1501 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

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annili :   “I wouldn’t talk to her. It’s pretty likely that she doesn’t change her behavior, and after a conversation, she’ll immediately think of you if her pictures are taken down –> drama.“

I agree with this.  

OP, since this is ongoing behavior—your aunt posting unflattering photos of people against their express wishes—I doubt a conversation is going to change anything.  The only thing it would do isnlike annili said, for the aunt to immediately think it’s you even if someone else reports her and gets the photos taken down.

I would report her anonymously to the social media company.  They may not do anything but you would have tried. 

Your aunt is of course grieving but your uncle’s wishes trump hers in this situation.  Honestly it makes my blood boil and skin crawl that she is doing this. 

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