Goodbye Cameras, Hello Lawsuits

Imagine never being able to capture your childs first moments in this world.

This has become a reality for many expecting parents at many hospitals across the United States. Hospitals are now banning the use of cameras in the delivery room fearing that cameras will distract doctors and cause more anxiety for an already stressful situation. The biggest argument, and the one creating much speculation, is the fact that video can and has been used against doctors in malpractice suits. Opponents to the argument (parents) argue that it is their right to take pictures or film their own flesh and blood. Watch the full story on Newsy.

The banning of cameras took root in 2007 after a delivery nurse at The University of Illinois Hospital applied too much force during a birth. The child suffered sever injuries that the parents caught on video and then used it against the hospital to win a 2.3 million settlement.

Now videos/pictures are not only memories but key evidence in malpractice suits. When babies are born with implications, the parents often sue the doctor and/or hospitals. Hospitals make a valid point contesting that it is unfair to use such evidence because to a jury of non-practioners, any delivery can look like a bloody mess. A judge, under the law of evidence, does have the discretion to exclude evidence if he or she thinks it would unfairly influence the jury.

With doctors and/or hospitals prohibiting cameras, many parents are left wondering, “where can’t you legally take pictures?” The general rule in the United States is that a property owner can prohibit photography on the premises, and this includes hospitals. However, there are no national standards regarding cameras in the delivery room, so each hospital can set its own policies.

The New York Times argue that:
“For the hospital, the issue is not about rights but about the health and safety of the baby and the mother and about protecting the privacy of the medical staff.”
When it comes down to it, doctors are human and are going to make mistakes. If parents are so keen on having the birth of their child on camera, they should do research beforehand and find out if cameras are allowed during the delivery of their baby. As for doctors, I think they shouldnt be too concerned if cameras are present if they are doing their job correctly.


What is your opinion on the issue? Read the links below to learn more.

Christal Ceithamer


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6 Responses to Goodbye Cameras, Hello Lawsuits

  1. Allison Perone says:

    I believe it is up to the hospitals to allow the use of cameras in the delivery room or not. Camera usage could be distracting to the doctors and I feel that using the home video footage against the doctors and nurses is unfair.

    If a person truly wants to video tape the birth of their child than they should research what hospital allows video camera and choose to have their delivery there. I also believe that taking pictures or videos after the baby is delivered healthily should be acceptable in all hospitals.

  2. Kelly Bates says:

    While filming the birth of your child has always been a common tradition among many families, people have abused that privilege by taking legal action.

    I agree that cameras should only be permitted if the hospital allows them to. Today people find any reason to sue, which is why I think hospitals and doctors are smart in taking precautions considering their careers and facilities are at stake.

  3. lindsay.edwards says:

    I think it should be the decision of each hospital to decide whether or not they allow cameras in the delivery rooms. It seems like it is easier these days to sue if something/anything goes wrong and the only way for the doctors and nurses to protect themselves from lawsuits is to come to a decision together. Each hospital is different and the decision to use cameras should be left up to the people that could be most affected by the situation.

    Maybe cameras should be allowed only after the baby is delivered to make sure that the doctors do not feel pressured in any way during the delivery which may cause them to make a mistake.

    Either way, I think it should be up to each hospital what their policy on cameras is.

  4. People are crazy. Giving birth seems like it is a very emotional moment for a family and I can understand why some would like to capture this “big moment” on film. However, what I don’t understand is why families would ever take this very private moment and put it on a public platform, like Facebook, or a blog. It seems invasive of the privacy of the mother, the family, and the doctor.

    While I don’t believe that a camera can add significant stress to a Doctor who’s job is to keep patients health and alive, I do believe the camera comes with the territory. If you are going to be a part of families “big moments” you may also be a part of them in the film.

  5. claudia mir says:

    I think is best that the hospital decides whether someone can bring a camera or not to the delivery rooms. Its like when you are in a play, sometimes they don’t let you bring cameras because you could distract the actors with the flashes. If cameras are distracting to the doctors, i believe they have the right to not let them in the operation room.

    I hope families understand how delicate this could be, and how could affect the life of the newborn.

  6. Com436 says:

    Giving birth is very personal and private and families need to understand that it is completely unnecessary make the process of having a baby public by catching it on video and being very frantic about it.

    Doctors may know what they are doing, but they need no extra distraction from families and friends of their patients using flash photography while they are delivering a baby or performing surgery or anything very serious to keep their patient’s life out of jeopardy.

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