Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Hospitals Prohibit Videos of Childbirth

Newsweek has a piece on maternity wards refusing to let births be captured on video. According to the short piece, some hospitals, such as Harvard's Massachusetts General Hospital, have banned this practice due to concerns about malpractice, privacy, and interference with the process. If this trend grows, I can imagine some women selecting clinicians to attend their births based on the hospital's rules on video. A WebMD article on choosing your birth attendant and hospital makes just this recommendation, that women inquire as to whether video taping is permitted. As I browsed the web for other pieces on this issue, I found discussion board entries where women complained that they expected to be able to capture video, but were not allowed. If you do plan to have your birth on video, you'll need to check your provider's and the hospital's policies first - in some cases it's outright prohibited, while other facilities have less restrictive policies.

Locally, Vanderbilt's policy states, "Patients and/or family members in the perinatal area are allowed to Photo/Video deliveries with the permission of the mother and health care providers with consideration of photo angles, privacy, and confidentiality. Permission is documented in the Medical Record," and includes several stipulations about required documentation. If you are aware of other local policies, please leave them in the comments.

What do you think? Would a video ban make you consider changing obstetric providers/hospitals? Is it reasonable to prohibit taping on the grounds of potential malpractice lawsuits? What does it indicate about how traditional providers view childbirth if every birth is presumed to be a potential disaster?

As of right now, I don't see any prohibitions against live-blogging a birth. Hmmm....

Lawsuit-Minded Doctors, Hospitals Restrict Delivery Room Videos
Crackdown on Videotaping in the Delivery Room
Legal Implications of Birth Videos

List of tips for making a video of a birth

Technorati Tags: ;
MeSH: "Videotape Recording"[MAJR] AND ("Labor, Obstetric"[MeSH] OR "Delivery Rooms"[MeSH] OR "Parturition"[MeSH])


Blogger Kat Coble said...

Someone, somewhere in the caverns of medical lawmaking has the best interests of squeamish and bored relatives at heart.

It's not that I don't respect the miracle of life. It's that I don't really want to see my sister-in-law's vagina oozing goo and baby again.

Especially when they serve lasagne.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I agree that maybe the relatives don't want to see it. Presumably they could just say so. But maybe the mom and dad do - as long as the videographer isn't interfering in things, it seems like preventing them because of the potential to capture evidence of a clinician's potential mistakes is a rationale that's hostile to women's desires for a very important moment.

I'm so hungry right now, I could totally put away some lasagne, even after the "oozing goo" comparison. :)

11:56 AM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

I was actually just joking.

Frankly, I think videotaping of all procedures should be mandatory, unless the patients opt out. It seems odd to me that there are video cameras at an ATM to protect $20 transactions, but no video cameras to record life-altering medical treatment.


Playing Devil's Advocate, I imagine there's a fair bit of what goes in the delivery room that is foreign to non-medical people and might be mistranslated.

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had two children and the first birth was video taped. I was happy I was allowed to have the birth filmed. It is a special memory for me and for my daughters, when they get 16 I will it show to them again to remind them just how much child bearing hurts..lol. It will be like a form of birth control for them. They are 8 and 10 now, and every now and then they ask to see the tape. It is a miracle to begine with, then to have been able to capture it on tape was even better. Not to say that the birth of my children wasnt memorable in itself, it was. But its nice to know I'll always have that tape to go back and watch and cry over, and say "my how they've grown." When they are teenagers and they've got minds of their own..lol and I can never get them to stay home, I can look back and be happy that at one time they were my babies..lol..Thank you for letting me share my views.

2:08 PM  

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