Proposed law would put cameras in operating rooms

Proposed law would put cameras in operating rooms

In order to help answer questions and increase transparency when medical errors occur, one state has introduced legislation that would allow video and audio recording in operating rooms. Named “Julie’s Law” the law would allow patients to request operations be recorded.

The proposed legislation came about after Julie Ayer died in the operating room during a routine procedure. Records show that during the procedure she flat lined and doctors waited several minutes before starting chest compressions. She was flown back to Wisconsin where she died three months later.

The family also discovered that the doctor performing the surgery failed to have an anesthesiologist present as required by law.

The law would help protect both patients and doctors when patients suffer harm. The recordings would serve as compelling evidence of what occurred in the operating room – whether a bad outcome occurred as a result of a medical error – or alternatively – if medical staff performed up to the standard of care and the poor outcome could not have been avoided. The congresswoman who introduced the bill noted “No one wants to attack medical professionals for every time something goes wrong. This bill just allows the opportunity to record procedures to either identify a possible human error or potentially protect medical professionals by demonstrating that they did nothing wrong,"

While physician associations oppose the law, advocates point out that with medical errors ranking as the third leading cause of death in the United States, every effort should be made to improve safety. Cameras have increased accountability in other fields, and could make a difference.

Currently, no states have laws permitting cameras in the operating room.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by medical malpractice, we urge you to contact our California medical malpractice team for an immediate consultation.


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