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The Permissibility and Legality of Audio and Video Recordings in Healthcare Setttings

Our medical malpractice team has read of successful medical malpractice cases brought by patients who recorded (sometimes surreptitously) their own procedures and/or placed recording devices in loved ones' hospital or nursing home rooms, and subsequently captured evidence of neglect. Many states such as Illinois and Indiana, as a result, are now introducing legislation that would give patients the right to elect to have their surgeries recorded. The arguments in favor and/or against doing so are many. On the one hand, patient advocates believe such recordings will keep doctors accountable and help them learn from mistakes. These individuals argue that because much of what is in dispute in a lawsuit is what really happened during the surgery, that such recordings would clear up this confusion. On the other hand, doctors and health care providers are concerns about invasions of privacy and believe that such measures will only increase the number of lawsuits and financial burden on the health care system. Of course, a natural response to this argument is that if a doctor or health care provider truly acted within the standard of care, then a recording should demonstrate that and only serve as a benefit to their defense. In addition to state laws, many hospitals have adopted their own policies and procedures for recordings, choosing to be proactive and not what for their state's legislature to act.

In a day and age in which technology permeates nearly every aspect of our society and most individuals now carry a cell phone, iPad or other device capable of recording conversations or videotaping evaluations, it is likely only a matter of time before a groundswell of public support for the liberal use of recordings in operative situations and/or all physician/patient encounters takes off.

The medical malpractice lawyers at STSW have been representing individuals in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas that have been harmed by medical negligence for over 20 years. We utilize a wide network of physician experts, investigators and attorneys to help you get through a difficult time involving you or a loved one. If you or a loved have been the victim of medical malpractice, call our team for a free consultation at (410) 385-2225.

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