Oral Presentation Australasian Association of Bioethics & Health Law and New Zealand Bioethics Conference

SYMPOSIA: 'Overt and covert recordings in healthcare' contexts: Patients taking photos, audio recordings and video in the health care context – when is it wrong and what can you do about it?  (1068)

Mark Taylor 1
  1. University of Melbourne, Carlton, VIC, Australia

There are anecdotal reports of an increase in the use of smartphones by patients, in various hospital settings, to capture still images, audio, and video. Images of others sharing the healthcare space may be captured, intentionally or unintentionally, and then published through social media. Scenarios range from patients capturing others as unwitting extras in family photos, covert capture of people or events intended to entertain friends, to pleas for help by live-streaming involuntary treatment in mental health inpatient units. We have yet to establish common understanding of when taking photos, audio, and videos is okay and who has responsibility for doing what in cases where it is not. This paper will explore the question of what constitutes a reasonable expectation of image and audio capture in the healthcare context and the responsibility, and liability, of health care providers and professionals in case of inappropriate taking and sharing. What responsibilities does a hospital or a health care professional have when recording is directly observed or reported to them? Can the use of recording devices be banned? How could such a ban be enforced? This paper will outline the steps that might be taken by a health care provider to address the risk of images or audio being captured inappropriately and the action that might lawfully be taken if a report is made.