Ethical problems of recording physician-patient interactions in family practice settings

J Fam Pract. 1985 Dec;21(6):467-72.


Recordings of actual physician-patient interactions are an important tool for family medicine education and research. Their use, however, poses two sets of ethical problems: one dealing with privacy and confidentiality, and another related to limitations upon informed consent in the context of ordinary medical care. Experience with audiotaping and videotaping led to engaging in a "principle-based" method of ethical reasoning in which problems generated by difficult cases were examined in light of both current rules or guidelines and four fundamental ethical principles. Through this approach specific policies were developed for voluntary, informed consent and for protection of privacy, while recognizing that each case must be judged in the light of the physician's obligation to do the best for each patient.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Confidentiality
  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Family Practice*
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Videotape Recording*