Patients At NYC Hospitals Will No Longer Become Accidental Reality TV Stars

We don’t know about you, but the last thing we want when we go to the hospital is for anyone — not even our loved ones — to shoot video of us. We certainly wouldn’t want to find out that we’re being filmed without our permission by a crew for some cruddy reality TV show. And after one such show actually broadcast the secretly recorded death of a patient in a New York City hospital, it looks like patients in NYC may not have to worry about being caught on camera at your worst.

According to Pro Publica, one of the first to report on the surreptitious filming of a dying patient at NewYork-Presbyterian by an ABC reality show, the Greater New York Hospital Association, which represents all the hospitals in NYC’s five boroughs, is asking its members to please ban cameras from filming patients without their permission.

The request comes after city officials pushed hospitals for the ban.

“Not everything is made for TV,” said one councilmember. “When you go into a hospital, you deserve to know that your sensitive moments are not going to end up on primetime.”

In the New York-Presbyterian case, a crew for ABC show “NY Med” shot footage of an emergency room patient as he passed away and without his permission. The man’s family say they didn’t even know that the video existed until after the show had aired.

They sued ABC and the hospital. A judge dismissed the complaint, but a state appeals court has decided to hear it.

New York-Presbyterian isn’t commenting on the filming ban, or whether NY Med will continue to shoot there but obtain patient permission. In court, the hospital has argued that New York state privacy laws only protect the living, so there was no violation in the case of the ER patient whose death was broadcast on national TV.

This seems to stand in contrast to the Hospital Association’s contention that its member hospitals “strongly agree that patients deserve privacy in the course of receiving care and that their medical information should be kept confidential in accordance with the law.”

New York state is currently considering legislation that would outlaw the filming of patients without their consent.

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