February 09, 2011 | | Comments 1
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Hey, put that camera away

Laurie Shifler, who delivered her baby at Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstorn, MD, was banned from taking photos during delivery due to the hospital’s health and safety rules.

Meritus implemented photo and video restrictions during birth in November, after learning that other hospitals in the area had the same ban. Photos of newborn babies are allowed once the medical team has given approval, typically within seconds of birth, reports The New York Times. The hospital also requires cell phones to be turned off.

Shifler was outraged by the hospital’s request, telling The Times that it’s her right and her decision to take photos of her own flesh and blood. The hospital, however, is concerned about the privacy of its medical staff, saying many of them don’t want to be plastered all over YouTube or Facebook, as well as the potential for distraction and for the photographs and videos to be used in litigation.

Does your hospital implement restrictions on photography and videography during births? Let us know in our comment section.

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Filed Under: Environment of careEnvironmental protection

Erica Jordan About the Author: Erica is an Editorial Assistant and manages Infection Control Weekly Monitor and Hospital Safety Connection. She also blogs weekly for Stressed Out Nurses and Patient Safety.

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  1. I believe the patient should have the right to have any procedure filmed. If something goes wrong, they should know about it and it should be recorded. Police have cameras in their cars, why shouldn’t a patient have the right to film their own surgery or birth of a child? Most hospitals have hidden security cameras in almost every corridor; does the patient have the right to privacy walking through the hospital? As far as staff rights to privacy, they should be wearing a mask anyway. Their right to privacy is only secondary to the right of a patient to have their care recorded. How many forms must a patient sign saying they won’t hold the hospital liable? Yet, the patient has little recourse when things go wrong. All they have is the doctors and nurses medical notes. If hospitals want to ban cameras, patients should boycott those hospitals.

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