Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Is doing a TV show unethical??

Well, here's an interesting question - does filming a TV show in a hospital step over any bounds of ethical behavior? . . . or good taste? I'm sure some folks get their medical information primarily through their TVs, so some sense arises of doing a public service by letting those folks know what the issues are in a big downtown hospital. But does Boston Med (or Hopkins for that matter?) create some discomfort that is hard to articulate but definitely there in your gut?

http://www.boston.com/ae/tv/articles/2010/06/13/boston_med_bears_witness_to_life_and_death_medical_dramas/?page=full

When hospital interactions are filmed in "real time" is something important lost in the exchange? Is there a loss of professionalism? Is there a loss of protection of the patient and their family? Is there a sense of loss of some aspect of the "art of medicine", which arguably is practiced in the realm of private interactions between patient and physician? Is it a loss of boundaries between caregiver and scene-stealer? And what about the "coincidence" that there is a death at one hospital being filmed that leads to a transplant at another hospital, also being filmed?

And as soon as we raise the question what "should" be done, we are in the realm of ethics. What should be done? Is filming in a hospital setting inherently wrong? Do patient consents really mean anything when people come to a hospital always under duress with a critical need to be healed, if not to be saved, and not to be filmed?

What do you think?

Carol

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