Kaiser Permanente announced this week that a laptop computer containing names, membership identification numbers, dates of birth, gender, and physician information on 38,000 Kaiser Permanente members was stolen in the Denver area in early October from a car belonging to a Kaiser Permanente employee in California. (Laptop with patient info stolen, Rocky Mountain News, November 29, 2006)

Richard Yaw Adjei of Bear, Delaware pleaded guilty in federal court on November 16 to aggravated identity theft and three counts of fraud for his part in a widespread criminal scheme that used information from a hospital billing service to steal the identities of more than 400 people. U.S. Attorney Colm F. Connolly also announced the indictment of accomplice Linda Danyell Williams, a claims processor at a New Castle medical billing and collection firm, alleged to have sold Adjei information about more than 400 patients for an undisclosed sum. Adjei in turn set up a tax return business and used the stolen information, including names, birth dates, addresses, Social Security numbers, hospital admission dates, doctors’ names, and diagnosis codes, to submit bogus tax returns and receive refunds totalling more than $300,000 in the names of at least 163 of the victims. (O’Sullivan, S., ID theft scam used medical billing info, Delaware News Journal, November 18, 2006)

“Security weaknesses have left millions of elderly, disabled and poor Americans vulnerable to unauthorized disclosure of their medical and personal records, federal investigators said Tuesday. The Government Accountability Office said it discovered 47 weaknesses in the computer system used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to send and receive bills and to communicate with health care providers. The agency oversees health care programs that benefit one in every four Americans. Its massive amount of data is transmitted through a computer network that is privately owned and operated. However, CMS did not always ensure that its contractor followed the agency’s security policies and standards, according to the GAO report. “As a result, sensitive, personally identifiable medical data traversing this network are vulnerable to unauthorized disclosure,” the federal investigators said. The network handling Medicare claims transmits extremely personal information, such as a patient’s diagnosis, the types of drugs the patient takes, plus the type of treatment facility they visited, including treatment centers for substance abuse or mental illness. (Freking, K., Auditors: health records at risk, Associated Press, October 3, 2006)

“Providence Health Systems agreed to reimburse the state of Oregon more than $95,000 in costs as part of a deal to settle a nine-month investigation into the largest data breach ever reported in Oregon. Medical records of 365,000 patients, stored on computer disks and digital tape, were in a car stolen from a Providence home services employee. The data was not encrypted. The theft revived efforts to enact stronger privacy protections in Oregon and spurred some patients to back a class-action lawsuit seeking damages from Providence. (Rojas-Burke, J., Providence settles data breach, The Oregonian, September 27, 2006)

“New York City’s public hospital system will suspend 39 employees without pay for peeking at the private medical records of Nixzmary Brown. The case of the 7-year-old girl, who died in Brooklyn in January from beatings and torture, become a tabloid and TV news sensation, and dozens of workers at the Woodfull Medical and Mental Health Center apparently couldn’t resist looking at the child’s computerized medical file. The suspensions will last from 30 to 60 days, and each of the sanctioned employees will be required to undergo training in patient privacy rules before they return to work. (Caruso, D., Prying N.Y. hospital workers suspended, Washington Post, September 25, 2006)

Answer the following questions:
1. What would you legally change to avoid/prevent this scenario from happening in the future?
2. Were there any the downstream impacts of confidentially and data integrity issues in your example?
3. What are the ethical considerations, if any in your case study?




Sample Solution

Sample solution

Dante Alighieri played a critical role in the literature world through his poem Divine Comedy that was written in the 14th century. The poem contains Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. The Inferno is a description of the nine circles of torment that are found on the earth. It depicts the realms of the people that have gone against the spiritual values and who, instead, have chosen bestial appetite, violence, or fraud and malice. The nine circles of hell are limbo, lust, gluttony, greed and wrath. Others are heresy, violence, fraud, and treachery. The purpose of this paper is to examine the Dante’s Inferno in the perspective of its portrayal of God’s image and the justification of hell. 

In this epic poem, God is portrayed as a super being guilty of multiple weaknesses including being egotistic, unjust, and hypocritical. Dante, in this poem, depicts God as being more human than divine by challenging God’s omnipotence. Additionally, the manner in which Dante describes Hell is in full contradiction to the morals of God as written in the Bible. When god arranges Hell to flatter Himself, He commits egotism, a sin that is common among human beings (Cheney, 2016). The weakness is depicted in Limbo and on the Gate of Hell where, for instance, God sends those who do not worship Him to Hell. This implies that failure to worship Him is a sin.

God is also depicted as lacking justice in His actions thus removing the godly image. The injustice is portrayed by the manner in which the sodomites and opportunists are treated. The opportunists are subjected to banner chasing in their lives after death followed by being stung by insects and maggots. They are known to having done neither good nor bad during their lifetimes and, therefore, justice could have demanded that they be granted a neutral punishment having lived a neutral life. The sodomites are also punished unfairly by God when Brunetto Lattini is condemned to hell despite being a good leader (Babor, T. F., McGovern, T., & Robaina, K. (2017). While he commited sodomy, God chooses to ignore all the other good deeds that Brunetto did.

Finally, God is also portrayed as being hypocritical in His actions, a sin that further diminishes His godliness and makes Him more human. A case in point is when God condemns the sin of egotism and goes ahead to commit it repeatedly. Proverbs 29:23 states that “arrogance will bring your downfall, but if you are humble, you will be respected.” When Slattery condemns Dante’s human state as being weak, doubtful, and limited, he is proving God’s hypocrisy because He is also human (Verdicchio, 2015). The actions of God in Hell as portrayed by Dante are inconsistent with the Biblical literature. Both Dante and God are prone to making mistakes, something common among human beings thus making God more human.

To wrap it up, Dante portrays God is more human since He commits the same sins that humans commit: egotism, hypocrisy, and injustice. Hell is justified as being a destination for victims of the mistakes committed by God. The Hell is presented as being a totally different place as compared to what is written about it in the Bible. As a result, reading through the text gives an image of God who is prone to the very mistakes common to humans thus ripping Him off His lofty status of divine and, instead, making Him a mere human. Whether or not Dante did it intentionally is subject to debate but one thing is clear in the poem: the misconstrued notion of God is revealed to future generations.



Babor, T. F., McGovern, T., & Robaina, K. (2017). Dante’s inferno: Seven deadly sins in scientific publishing and how to avoid them. Addiction Science: A Guide for the Perplexed, 267.

Cheney, L. D. G. (2016). Illustrations for Dante’s Inferno: A Comparative Study of Sandro Botticelli, Giovanni Stradano, and Federico Zuccaro. Cultural and Religious Studies4(8), 487.

Verdicchio, M. (2015). Irony and Desire in Dante’s” Inferno” 27. Italica, 285-297.