Should Hospitals Ban Cameras from the Delivery Room?

Ban Cameras from the Delivery RoomThe birth of a child is one of the most extraordinary experiences in anyone’s life. The anticipation, fears and concerns build for nine months in preparation for this dramatic event. Sadly, childbirth does not always go smoothly. At times, medical staff can injure the infant during birth by failing to follow safe procedures. This is when the parent’s natural desire to film a blessed event gets in the way of hospital interests. The family video camera could record incriminating evidence of medical negligence that could make or break a lawsuit.

Birth Complications Commonly Lead to Brain Injury

When complications arise during childbirth, the delayed birth often diminishes the supply of blood and oxygen to the brain. This naturally results in injuries such as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, cerebral palsy or stroke. Other common injuries include facial palsy and brachial plexus injury. It is vital that medical staff follow proper procedures when complications arise to minimize the chance of permanent injury. Taped evidence of such injuries makes hospitals nervous.

Why Cameras are Being Banned

Some hospitals are banning the use of cameras in the delivery room as a defense against potential lawsuits.  The bans began after a 2007 incident when a delivery nurse applied too much force during a birth, severely injuring a newborn.[1] The parents shot a live video of the labor and delivery and then used it against the hospital to win a $2.3 million settlement. Since this incident, more and more hospitals are refusing to allow expecting parents to film the birth because of potential liability concerns.

False Arguments

Hospitals argue that the ban has to do with patient safety and staff privacy, yet these arguments never came forward before the 2007 incident. It seems clear that these arguments are only public relations efforts to minimize the damage brought by the new policy.  The real danger lies in the lawsuits the birth videos might prove valid.

The Right Way to Handle Birth Videos

There is a better way to handle birth videos being adopted both some hospitals. Instead of banning birth videos, they become actively involved in the process. These hospitals understand that they can later review the videos, with the parents’ permission, to audit the birth and see if staff followed proper procedures. This helps to address any arising concerns that parents may have and helps hospitals provide better care. Some of these hospitals require everyone in the room agree to the filming, including the doctors and nurses, before it will be allowed.

Contact Us

If your child suffered an injury because of a doctor or other medical provider’s negligence, contact our office. Our experienced attorneys will review your case, free of charge, and answer any questions you might have pertaining to your rights. We will work with you to ensure that you and your family receive proper compensation for damages caused by medical negligence such as medical costs, and pain and suffering.


[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/03/us/03birth/

One thought on “Should Hospitals Ban Cameras from the Delivery Room?

  1. Pingback: Goodbye Cameras, Hello Lawsuits | Ethics in the News

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