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Don't listen to me! Recording without consent in healthcare

Is recording without consent a real concern?

 Are you being recorded without consent? Imagine your reaction when you discover a patient or family member has been secretly recording your interactions with them. A MJ follower recently had such a discovery and was (not surprisingly) concerned...

T.U. is an RN from Central New York and writes:
"...I was appalled to find that a patient had coordinated with family to record interactions with their health providers. A family member recorded (our voices) on a smartphone by simply leaving it on the table while another filmed encounters on another phone. All this without the nurses knowing about it. We found out about it only when a recording was accidentally played while a housekeeper was cleaning the room."

 Discovering you've been recorded without your knowledge or permission stirs emotion and puts us on the defensive. Why would a patient or family want to record our actions? Are they upset about our care or waiting to catch proof of a mistake? Perhaps the family just wants to have a record of the conversation to remind themselves of our instructions. Those who provide care outside the hospital environment may be more aware of the potential for being recorded. EMS providers and firefighters frequently provide care in public locations and are always in a position to be recorded by bystanders. Radio transmissions are also recorded and often are played on various websites.
Recording devices have come along way

While there are many reasons why someone would record (audio/video) we often jump to the negative conclusion...a reasonable defense mechanism when were recorded without our permission or knowledge. If nothing else, finding out you've been recorded without your knowledge or permission, taints the environment of care.

The ever increasing popularity of smartphones and other portable devices makes covert recording an almost certain eventuality.  And here in New York, its perfectly legal to do. Okay, disclaimer time - I'm not a lawyer, I have no background in legal matters and Mitigation Journal is not (emphasis not) a blog for legal opinion or recommendation.With that in mind, lets move on...

Recording your healthcare providers conversation without consent is perfectly legal in New York and many other states. There are only 12 states with "all-party" legislation that requires consent for recording. That being said, I think its important to take a calm approach to the situation.
Upsetting as the situation may be, recordings made covertly (or overtly, for that matter) may not be of benefit during legal proceedings. While medical records are seldom questioned for authenticity, recordings made by patients and families may be. They can be edited, tampered with and it may be difficult to prove exactly who is talking on the recording.

Here are a few articles that I found helpful:

Be Careful Who and What You Are Recording

When Patients Audio Record Without Your Consent

Family may use secret recording in medical negligence suit

Secretly recording conversations with doctors... Is it legal?


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