All university-based surgeons understand and value the need for research trials to improve the science and technology of medicine. During residency and after surgeons obtain consent from hundreds of patients for the participation in research trials. In fact, many surgeons agree to be part
of studies as a patient. However, there is one type of consent form that most surgeons would never sign or allow anyone in their family to sign – letting their procedure be filmed or photographed for use by the media.
What specifically is meant by this? There has been an explosion of shows on television and programs produced for the Internet about new developments in medicine and surgery that use footage of actual operations being performed on people. While most of these programs are legitimate and intended to be educational and informative for the viewing pubic, it is hard to see how the patient benefits by giving their consent. If you make the albeit somewhat cynical argument that all “programming content” (including this site) exists for the chief reason to sell advertising, it seems that patients who give their consent to be filmed are mostly achieving financial gain for someone else.
And this just doesn’t seem like a good idea. Does this necessarily add risk to the patient or contribute to worse outcomes? There are no scientific studies on the subject. But the whole tone of the operating room changes when an “outsider” is watching. The staff is more uptight and the standard, everyday way of doing things is sometimes subtly changed to be more “presentable” for the cameras. If you are considering allowing your operation to be filmed, keep one thing in mind – surgeons, to avoid making their colleagues uptight or to avoid changing the normal routine in the operating room, almost never watch when one of their loved ones is under the knife.
This information is intended for education only and does not constitute treatment advice. Please consult your healthcare advisor for all medical decisions.
Copyright 2006 Surgeryandyou.com