STLToday.com has posted an interesting article about a Maryland hospital’s ban on photographing or videotaping of births. Meritus Medical Center, in Hagerstown, MD, even requires cell phones and cameras be turned off and only allows photographing to begin after the medical staff have given the okay.
The hospital is trying to protect both its patients and staff. The medical staff won’t be distracted by electronics and can better focus their attention on the safety and health of the mother and baby. Also, hospital staff really don’t want to be popping up on Facebook and YouTube videos, so their privacy is being protected as well.
This hospital’s reasoning is backed by a variety of lawsuits, of which video can be used as evidence. For example, in 2007 a baby was born in the University of Illinois Hospital with permanent shoulder injuries. The video the baby’s father took in the delivery room showed the midwife using “excessive force” and the family was paid $2.3 million in damages.