by Rich Cahill, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company
“Doctor, can I record our conversation today?”
Have you ever heard that question from a patient or a patient’s family member? Or have you ever been worried a patient might record the visit without asking permission? As smartphones have become ubiquitous—giving patients a video and audio recorder that’s always at hand—the question of whether or not these devices should be allowed in the clinic or hospital setting is becoming increasingly more common.
A high-profile case involved a patient who accidentally recorded his colonoscopy, capturing derogatory remarks from the anesthesiologist while he was under anesthesia. The patient sued for malpractice and was awarded $500,000.1 While this case is extreme, it has raised the importance of addressing the issue in each practice and hospital.