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Could future surgeries be recorded?

The increased use of body cameras by police agencies across the United States has been a hot button issue in 2015. Some departments may see it as an expensive proposition to protect what the integrity of their work when it is not necessary, while civil rights groups believe it will level the playing field when making excessive force claims.

This new use of cameras may also find its way into the medical field in protecting doctors against medical malpractice cases. The use of cameras in surgical rooms may become mainstream as state legislatures contemplate how to procedures could be recorded and preserved. 

In New York, such a law is being proposed. It is named “Raina’s Law” after 19-year old Raina Ferraro who went into cardiac arrest after the negligent application of anesthesia during a surgery.

 What appears to be a good idea for providing patients and their families with information about their surgeries, and if nothing else, teaching medical students about the dangers of negligence during medical procedures, is not being viewed kindly by critics. Essentially, some doctors and hospitals believe that the cameras will only provide damming evidence of their missteps in future legal proceedings.

Be that as it may, surgeons have a duty to use reasonable care while operating on a patient. While there may be disagreements over whether protocols were followed during a procedure, having cameras may provide an objective view of what went on and why a patient was harmed. It would appear that conventional wisdom would favor such an approach. 

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