BOSTON – Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a bill that would give patients the right to have their operations videotaped if they pay for it.
The measure would let licensed medical videographers tape the procedures. They would not have to be in the operating room at the time. A copy of the surgery would be given to the hospital for its records. Hospitals that refused would face a $10,000 fine.
The bill is scheduled for a Statehouse hearing Tuesday before the Public Health Committee.
Another bill set to be heard at the same time would create a special commission to investigate the use of robotic surgery in Massachusetts and develop a training protocol.
Two interesting bills are going to be voted on in Massachusetts according to this article.
The first would allow the taping of any surgery. This would be paid for by the patient. I have given patients videos of their robotic surgeries when they are recorded and come out OK on the DVD. I also have had relatives of patients in the operating room at certain times, but I think most surgeons would not support this bill.
Surgery is rarely a “perfect” with fluid and bleeding obscuring view. I do not think a lay person would be able to understand and would be concerned about the implications in a malpractice case. I would recommend these videos by non-admissible in any legal proceedings, although I would be open to allowing expert witnesses testify to what they saw.
The second case involves the training and credentialing of robotic surgery. I am very interested to see why robotic surgery is different than other forms of surgery. In my opinion, laparoscopic surgery was harder to learn originally than robotic surgery is today and this was never subjected to additional legislation.
I do think that the individual medical societies that the surgeons participate in and hospitals that have robotic systems have specific training protocols which should try to be standardized.