To avoid medical malpractice lawsuits, some hospitals ban cameras

by | Feb 9, 2011 | Medical Malpractice

The debate: should recording devices be allowed in hospital delivery rooms? Some say yes, they should be allowed because the birth of a child is an incredible moment for proud parents. Some disagree saying that video cameras can be intrusive and in the way as delivery room staff tries to do their job.

Beyond these reasons, there is another concern that video recording would be used in medical malpractice claims. The delivery of a child is a complicated process, but if something goes wrong a video recording of the incident can help determine what happened. This can be especially helpful for parents whose baby was severely injured during the birth process because of a hospital staff member’s negligence.

If a child suffered a birth injury, the video can be used to prove possible medical malpractice. One family used one such video in their lawsuit against the hospital where their baby was born. The parents alleged that the permanent injuries the baby suffered during birth resulted because a nurse was too forceful. The video was used to support the allegations and the family was awarded a multi-million dollar settlement.

But if more and more hospitals choose to ban recording devices in delivery rooms, will parents have a harder time with medical malpractice claims? Without a video, it can be much more difficult to show that an injury was in fact the result of negligence. A permanent injury can have severe consequences for both the injured infant as well as the infant’s family members.

Some hospitals have taken the opposite approach and are allowing families to record the momentous occasion. One such hospital has safeguards in place such as requiring the consent of everyone in the delivery room to being filmed. This specific hospital believes that recording the process helps the staff in a delivery room learn to react to different situations.

Source: The New York Times online, “Cameras, and Rules Against Them, Stir Passions in Delivery Rooms,” Katharine Q. Seelye, 02 February 2011

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