Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Does Right to Film a Birth Affect Your Hospital Choice?

Over the holidays, I watched the video of my sister-in-law's c-section. I was rather surprised that my brother-in-law was allowed to film it, as so many hospitals now refuse to allow the filming of births, particularly to avoid creating evidence for malpractice suits. This was a c-section resulting from several complications, and the video shows a bit of the preparation, the entire procedure, and the early resuscitation efforts on my nephew, who is fine now, but was floppy, unresponsive, and silent at the time. Meanwhile, I'm told by a colleague that the hospital where I work, which technically allows filming of births in its official policies, does not allow it in practice. I've been thinking that, should I ever become pregnant, having the option to film is both realistically and symbolically important to me. So I ask, would the ability to film a birth affect your or your partner's choice of hospital or other birthing facility? On a related note, does knowing that your chosen facility does not allow filming reduce your confidence in the facility?
(My apologies if the poll looks crazy; this is my first use of addpoll.)

Update: It occurred to me that I should clarify that you don't have to be pregnant or have had a child to respond to this poll - it's about your intentions and what influences them. Also, perhaps I should have added an option for, "No, I think filming a birth is icky." :)
Previous related posts: Hospitals Prohibit Videos of Childbirth; More Bans on Photography and Videotaping During Labor and Delivery

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MeSH Tags: Delivery Rooms; Motion Pictures OR Photography; Parturition


Blogger Vol Abroad said...

I don't think I would ever think to look for a hospital based on that. But if I found out that they didn't allow it because of fear of malpractice suits that would cause me a fair degree of nervousness and would make me think twice.

I don't think I would ever want to have myself filmed giving birth. I didn't even want a video camera at my wedding.

2:56 PM  
Blogger Jodieleh said...

I am a childbirth video artist. I prefer filming home births, hypnobirths, and water births, but film hospital births as well. It's not "icky," it's sacred, amazing and at some births even sensual. It's the first moments of your child's life outside your womb. Why would anyone let a hospital policy take that away? Having a birth filmed is not for everyone, but it should be your choice whether you have it filmed or not, and not the hospital's.
Jodie Myers

9:17 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Thank you for your comment. I've been very surprised by how many women have suggested they would be grossed out by seeing a birth - even their own. I agree with you that it should not be the hospital's choice.

11:46 AM  
Blogger Hilary said...

While I was training to be a midwife, I filmed a lot of births and were at even more that were filmed. I think it is a wonderful option, and no one ever regrets it. If you think it's gross, I dare you to throw it away. It'll be pretty difficult for most people.

AS for not allowing it, I can totally see this being the case in many hospitals (I trained at a free standing birth center.) I can also see how it may be allowed for a vaginal birth without significant complications, but may be not allowed in the operating room.

While I was training, I have to admit we were gently discouraged from filming certain things which may have affected malpractice later.

5:43 PM  

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