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Beware the man with the camera!!

Posted Oct 08 2009 10:02pm

movie camera There have been some interesting posts pop up on some of the blogs I read during the last 24hrs. It appears to have started over at Statter 911, where a post was put up describing a video that is now doing the rounds on YouTube, showing a Fire Fighter/EMT from Keene (N.H – Is that new Hampshire?) getting a little upset with a cameraman/photographer who was recording film of him whilst he was performing his duties caring for a patient.

There seems to be a lot more involved in this than initially meets the eye, as you will see from the video produced from the `Free Keene` free rights/anti government group. I can imagine that there may be some history in this town with this group and the various government departments.

The interesting thing from an emergency care perspective though is to watch the video and imagine what you would do in his situation. You are caring for the patient and acting as their advocate. You will obviously be thinking about their confidentiality and may act in the same manner.

You will hear a lot of talk about HIPAA violations. This is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 1996, which basically covers all patient confidentiality /patient identifiable information issues over in the U.S.

Here are some links about HIPAA if you want to know more (or want to nod off to sleep) Link 1, Link 2, Link 3.

Happy Medic also mentioned HIPAA in a recent blog post which explained things and how they directly relate to patient care in a much simply way. Although this is all American Jargon, what I can tell you from my experience of filming the ‘Emergency’ TV series over here in the UK, is that the law about filming in a public place is the same as in the U.S. Basically once you are out in the open, you lose the right to anonymity as you are in a public place, and therefore you can be filmed/photographed etc without your explicit consent

Anyway, here is the video..Have a watch, spend a little time thinking if you would have acted the same way, then click here to read the legal standpoint from Star of Life (paramedic and attorney!), and also from Steve over at the EMT Spot. Their views certainly opened my mind as to what is the right and wrong way to handle situations like these.

So, would you have done the right thing?

Let me know……..

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