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Hospital announces deaths by text

Marc Perton

We can think of a lot of info we'd like to be able to get by text -- stock market updates, sports scores, even mash notes. But being notified of a relative's death by the impersonal flash of a text message across our phone's screen has got to be one of the worst uses we've heard of for SMS technology. But that, apparently, is what a hospital in Ceske Budejovice, in the Czech Republic, is doing. OK, they're not sending out text messages saying "Hi! Yr uncl is ded." But they come pretty close: the hospital sends text messages asking family members to call a special number, where they're told the actual news. Local ethics officials call the practice "absolutely inadmissible," but the hospital defends it as being a fast and modern way to communicate with relatives.

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