Search for mystery patient's family complicated by privacy issues

MST Enschede (Photo: Simpleness/Wikimedia Commons). (MST Enschede (Photo: Simpleness/Wikimedia Commons))

The MST hospital in Twente is still looking for the family of an unidentified patient who showed up at the hospital on Sunday. Several tips were received based on a basic description of the man, though his identity remains a mystery. Privacy laws make it complicated to release a photo of the man, AD reports.

"The man is unable to express himself verbally and the we can't just publish his picture", MST spokesperson Lars Wormgoor said to AD. He understands the feeling that privacy legislation failed in this instance, but the hospital has to abide by the laws.

According to Wormgoor, MST acted on advice from the police. A spokesperson for the police confirmed this to the newspaper. "We did advise MST to think carefully before seeking publicity", the spokesperson said. "So that the privacy of the person is not under pressure."

Wormgoor emphasized again that the man is in a stable condition and is being monitored constantly. "His condition also does not force us to just publish his photo." he said, adding that the hospital had hoped to reach his family by now. "How big is Twente really?" The hospital will, after consulting with the police, reconsider publishing the man's photograph if his family can't be found soon.

The patient is a balding man around the age of 65 with gray hair. He showed up at the hospital neatly dressed - he was wearing a denim jacket, brown t-shirt, jeans and dark brown suede shoes.