For many parents, having a baby is a once-in-a-lifetime experience they want to share with people through photos and videos. According to the New York Times, a growing number of hospitals are changing their policies on cameras in the delivery room. Some are now restricting photos to a few minutes after birth, while others are banning them altogether! Parents are understandably upset. They say a baby is their own flesh and blood, so they should have the right to take as many photos as they want or even broadcast the delivery online. However, hospitals claim the change is about protecting the medical staff’s right to privacy. After all, not every doctor wants to become an instant celebrity on YouTube. Hospitals are also worried about safety. They say if doctors are distracted by Dad waving a camera in their face, that could put a baby’s health at risk.
Experts say the biggest reason hospitals are banning cameras from delivery rooms is to protect themselves from lawsuits! After all, obstetricians are sued more often than doctors in any other specialty, and video has played a role in a growing number of recent malpractice suits. For example: A jury in Illinois was recently shown video of a nurse using force to help deliver a baby who suffered permanent shoulder injuries. The jury decided the force was excessive, and awarded the parents more than $2 million! Obviously, video’s a good thing to have if doctors do something wrong. The problem is that childbirth can look traumatic to people even when doctors do everything right. As one lawyer put it: If you show a mother screaming in pain, it could be enough to shock any jury into awarding money. So it makes sense that hospitals want to manage their risk of being sued by banning cameras.