Hospitals Ban Childbirth Videos for Fear of Malpractice Lawsuits

Hospitals say they are barring parents from taking videos of the birth of their children strictly out of concern for privacy of the health care workers and to prevent doctors and nurses from being distracted. But a New York Times article on the subject makes clear the hidden agenda: Hospitals really want to avoid the creation of graphic video evidence in the event that something goes wrong with the birth and they are sued for medical malpractice.

As a patient safety advocate, it seems to me that any hospital that concerned about legal liability is one that parents would want to avoid giving their business to. Any hospital oriented to safety would be proud of its work and would want to have the videos to exonerate their doctors and nurses, if it came to a lawsuit.

The fact is that cellphone cameras are so unobtrusive now that it is hard to imagine a real safety issue with their being in “record” mode for the moments of birth, which some parents want to capture for posterity.

I explained my concerns in an interview on a local television news show, which you can watch here.

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