Implications of the law on video recording in clinical practice

Surg Endosc. 2012 Oct;26(10):2909-16. doi: 10.1007/s00464-012-2284-6. Epub 2012 Apr 27.


Background: Technological developments allow for a variety of applications of video recording in health care, including endoscopic procedures. Although the value of video registration is recognized, medicolegal concerns regarding the privacy of patients and professionals are growing. A clear understanding of the legal framework is lacking. Therefore, this research aims to provide insight into the juridical position of patients and professionals regarding video recording in health care practice.

Methods: Jurisprudence was searched to exemplify legislation on video recording in health care. In addition, legislation was translated for different applications of video in health care found in the literature.

Results: Three principles in Western law are relevant for video recording in health care practice: (1) regulations on privacy regarding personal data, which apply to the gathering and processing of video data in health care settings; (2) the patient record, in which video data can be stored; and (3) professional secrecy, which protects the privacy of patients including video data. Practical implementation of these principles in video recording in health care does not exist.

Conclusion: Practical regulations on video recording in health care for different specifically defined purposes are needed. Innovations in video capture technology that enable video data to be made anonymous automatically can contribute to protection for the privacy of all the people involved.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Endoscopy
  • General Practice / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Property
  • Medical Records / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Privacy / legislation & jurisprudence
  • United States
  • Video Recording / legislation & jurisprudence*