Hospital reality show breaks patient confidentiality, say experts

The VU university’s teaching hospital has been accused of breaking patient confidentiality by allowing a television production company to record patients being treated at its accident and emergency department.


Medical law professor Johan Legemaate and medical ethics expert Erwin Kompanje told television show Nieuwsuur on Wednesday night the hospital had broken the rules by allowing Eyeworks to install 35 remote-controlled cameras to record activity in the department over a two-week period.
In total 1,500 people visited the A&E department while filming was taking place, and some 150 gave permission for Eyeworks to film them.
No consent
However, according to Nieuwsuur, some patients did not know they were being recorded and were asked once they had been treated for permission to broadcast the material. This went against the agreement made between the hospital and Eyeworks.
One father told the programme he had spent hours in the A&E department with his young daughter and was only told as they were going home everything had been filmed. Eyeworks also filmed confidential conversations between the girl and doctor, at which the father was not present.
Patients organisations also protested about the VU’s participation in the programme, saying MPs should ensure this can never happen again.
The programme, for RTL, will be broadcast in March.