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Proposed Law Requires Patients Be Given Option to Have Medical Care Videotaped

August 14, 2015 by Joseph J. Manna

The National Organization for Medical Malpractice Victims has succeeded in getting legislation introduced in the State of Wisconsin, which requires hospitals to offer patients the right to have medical care videotaped.  The recordings then become part of a patient’s medical record, much like “black boxes” in airplanes, cars and even during routine police traffic stops.

The benefit of instituting video recordings during medical procedures is that patients will have a recording of what actually happened during a surgery.  This eliminates the need for patients to rely solely on what healthcare providers claim happened.  With time, proponents of the law believe that physicians will be more careful if they know they are being recorded and consequently, there will be less patient injury.

Proponents of the bill also say that having video recording for medical procedures is no different from police officers wearing body cameras during routine traffic stops; it records what actually happens and aids in discerning the truth.  Although recordings are subject to various interpretations, they don’t lie like a surgeon or nurse can.  They don’t forget, like a surgeon or nurse can.  Recordings can’t be influenced like a doctor or nurse can be to give testimony with a bend toward themselves or other fellow medical providers.

In addition, recording patient care will reduce the far too common occurrence of some physicians sexually assaulting patients while under their care.  In New York, many women, and even children, have been sexually abused by doctors.  They are subjected to further abuse in court when they are forced to verbalize what happened to them and then get attacked by the healthcare provider’s lawyer.  Video cameras will certainly aid in stopping such abuse.

The main objection to the video idea is, of course, from medical providers who say that the recordings could be used against them in court.  They also say that it’s like speed radar – it doesn’t stop speeding.  So they claim it won’t stop malpractice.  Nevertheless, police still use radar and body cameras because there is a value to it.  Black boxes are in airplanes, not because it stops the crash, but because they help understand what happened to cause the crash.   

This topic is receiving well deserved attention thanks to the Washington Post’s prominent coverage.  The issue continues to get national attention and will likely be picked up by other well- known main stream news outlets.

Who can help?

If you've suffered a serious, permanent injury because of a negligent hospital, nurse or doctor, you should seek help from a competent medical malpractice lawyer experienced in this type of medical error.  At Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria, based in Buffalo, New York, we have experienced medical malpractice trial lawyers who know the best way to evaluate and pursue your case.  We are well-respected by experienced medical malpractice defense attorneys, who know that we will spare no expense to retain leading medical experts from well-respected medical practices and universities to help ensure you get justice and full compensation for your injuries.   Please give us a call. 

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