Hospitals Increasingly Banning Cameras from Birthing Room
The videoing of a child’s birth is a long standing tradition for many families. It's been permitted for decades, but there is increasing debate in hospitals now about whether or not parents should be allowed to do so. One mother filled photo albums with the births of her first three children, but during the birth of her fourth, her doctor at Baptist Desoto ordered all cameras out of the delivery room. She said the nurses told her that they don’t allow pictures.
She now laments the one missing photo album for her youngest child. According to a doctor with the U.T. Medical Group, in the age of social media and cell phones, what happened to that mother could become the norm. "Now it becomes an issue on a daily basis, you know, people whipping out their phones besides even the regular video camera," she said. Social media sites, with their naturally open sharing, are urging hospitals to rethink the recording of the delivery room process. "I think social media has brought a whole new dimension into the healthcare environment," a representative of Baptist Memorial Hospital said. At Baptist's 14 facilities in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas each hospital sets its own policy on cameras in the delivery room. Currently, a hospital official says, they do not have a system wide video or picture taking policy for the delivery room, and there is no national policy, either.
At The MED, cameras are allowed, but if complications arise, they can be banned at a moment's notice.
Why all the scrutiny, and why are hospitals seemingly acting harshly when it comes to preserving a beautiful moment? It is because childbirth videos regularly show up in medical malpractice suits, and studies show obstetricians are sued more often than any other specialty doctors. On attorney says, “Everybody knows that pictures speak for themselves.”
The mother in this story says that doctor’s disallowed her camera because she was a high risk patient. Subsequently, the first picture she has with her daughter was taken two hours after she was born.
Professional birth photographer Brandy Kemp hopes the advent of technology doesn't force further restrictions. "It would be devastating to some families if they couldn't record that actual event," she said. Hospitals in New York City and Westchester are investigating this situation.
Whether you have photographic evidence or not, contact a New York Birth Injury Attorney if you suspect medical malpractice in the delivery room.