Video recording of ophthalmic surgery--ethical and legal considerations

Surv Ophthalmol. 2014 Sep-Oct;59(5):553-8. doi: 10.1016/j.survophthal.2014.01.006. Epub 2014 Feb 6.


Video documenting is increasingly used in ophthalmic training and research, with many ophthalmologists routinely recording their surgical cases. Although this modality represents an excellent means of improving technique and advancing knowledge, there are major ethical and legal considerations with its use. Informed consent to record is required in most situations. Patients should be advised of any risk of identification and the purpose of the recording. Systems should be in place to deal with issues such as data storage, withdrawal of consent, and patients requesting copies of their recording. Privacy and security of neither patients nor health care professionals should be compromised. Ownership and distribution of video recordings, the potential for their use in medical litigation, the ethics and legality of editing and the impact on surgeon performance are other factors to consider. Although video recording of ophthalmic surgery is useful and technically simple to accomplish, patient safety and welfare must always remain paramount.

Keywords: confidentiality; consent; ethics; medicolegal; ophthalmic surgery; video recording.

MeSH terms

  • Confidentiality / ethics
  • Confidentiality / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent / ethics
  • Informed Consent / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures / ethics*
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Ophthalmology / education
  • Teaching Materials
  • Video Recording / ethics*
  • Video Recording / legislation & jurisprudence*