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Could your next surgery be recorded?

There are a number of protocols that hospitals use to reduce the risk of surgical tools being left in patients after a procedure, or being misplaced before or after a surgery. Essentially, some tools are bar-coded so that they can be electronically accounted for. With the increased use of technology in surgical rooms, it would not be surprising if such procedures were recorded.

The idea is gaining traction in a number of states, both for safety reasons and to help in limiting the number of medical malpractice cases from going to trial. Essentially, the reasoning is that visual re-production of the procedure could help in resolving disputes that lead to malpractice trials. With additional information about their surgeries, disgruntled patients and their families may be less likely to bring frivolous lawsuits. 

At the same time, defiant doctors and hospitals may be more willing to compensate patients for costly mistakes. Additionally, medical students could benefit from seeing these procedures before performing them, which would provide an additional educational benefit.

While there may be some enormous benefits to recording surgeries, not all doctors and hospitals are enamored with the idea. They believe that cameras will only be helpful in driving up the price of benefits damages in medical malpractice suits since all the evidence a potential plaintiff will need will be readily available.

It remains to be seen whether cameras will be legally required in surgical rooms in the future. In the meantime, a thorough investigation is required to prove medical malpractice. 

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