Hospitals Cracking Down On Cameras In Delivery Rooms

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The birth of a child is special for any parent and a long-standing tradition has been to film the event.

However, some hospitals are cracking down and aren’t allowing cameras in the delivery room anymore.

Kate Koontz treasures the video of the birth of her son.

“It’s just nice to show him and he enjoys watching it. And he enjoys seeing what he did when he was first born and in the hospital,” Koontz said.

The Koontzs kept it discreet, with a camera running on a side table through the whole process, But, some hospitals are saying recording in the delivery room is off-limits.

“Some hospitals permit it, some have limits on it. Some hospitals require patients to sign a form saying that they’ll stop if the doctor requests that they do so,” Birth Injury Lawyer Victor Pribanic said.

Among some Pittsburgh area hospitals, West Penn said no images of any kind, unless the father is stationed overseas. Photos are allowed after the baby is born.

The hospital said this is to protect the safety and privacy of patients and employees.

St. Clair Hospital only allows still photography.

Magee Women’s Hospital allows video-taping only by the patient’s support person, and the doctor or charge nurse has the final call on whether it’s advisable.

“The technology that’s available today, with smart phones and laptops, it would be something really difficult to police even if we said we weren’t going to allow it anymore,” Susan Pedaline, a nurse at Magee Women’s Hospital, said.

A video of a birth can be a record of a beautiful wonderful healthy thing, or it can serve as a record of a mistake. Obviously, the hospitals and the physicians are concerned about the latter.

Koontz would be heartbroken if she didn’t have the video of this special day.

“It would be rough. I tell you, those memories, they fade, they distort over time. You don’t remember how everything sounds, how everything feels, how everything looks. You don’t remember his little face when he came out,” Koontz said.


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  • Kelly G.

    I have about 45 seconds of my child being born even though it was not allowed 3 years ago. I wish I had recorded more as one of the mistakes the doctor made will be visible on my son for his entire life.

    • Anonymous

      How many things went right compliments of modern medical training and good practice though? Would he look as good as he does if he was born in Ethopia, be grateful you have a son and quit looking for faults….it is not a right or guarantee that everyone will have a perfect delivery, or a perfectly healthy baby — it’s what we hope for.

      • William Burchfield

        You’re right doctors shouldn’t be held accountable for negligence. Fuk it we’re lucky he was born at all right? So what the doctor lopped off part of your ear with a clamp.

      • Kelly G.

        Lawyers have already said we have a case, they won’t take it because there is not enough money in it. Yes we are lucky to have our son been born in the US. We just happened to be unlucky the Doctor had court time reserved to play Tennis. With our next child I’ll be sure to ask if the Doc has any plans for the evening.

      • Momof2

        I completely agree!

        Nobody told you you had to go to a hospital to give birth. You could have had him at home with zero doctor or nurse available and just have someone catch the baby in a catcher’s mitt as he exited the womb.

        Child birth is a NATURAL function and no hospitalization is required to do it. Why can’t you just be grateful for the doctor’s help and the pain meds they gave you during the whole ordeal instead of trying to find a cash cow to sue.

      • Dr. Zhivago

        There’s a huge difference between being born with defects due to “natural” causes and negligence. Modern medical training and good practice have developed enough in this cointry that there is absolutely no excuse for negligence or bad practice. I think Anonymous would feel different about this if it was his or her child.

      • J. Thomas

        Yor are a moron! The If doctors aren’t sloppy then what do they have to worry about. I do not hope for a proper birth, I pay for, and demand it!

    • Jenny G.

      Wow! The commenters on this thread are brutal. I’m with you Kelly – the doctor that delivered my son was a jerk who was in too big of a hurry to pay any attention to the fact that my son was facing the wrong way and he had to be delivered with forceps. I’m so very grateful that I had the technology to deliver him safely and I don’t plan on suing, but I think some doctors are too full of themselves to pay attention to the details. Just because we have safe places to deliver our babies doesn’t mean we shouldn’t hold our doctors accountable for the laziness they display. Instead of suing the doctor who delivered my son, I have made sure that I don’t see him anymore and I warn friends who go to my practice to stay away from him. That’s all… Everyone else here should have a little compassion. Geez – take it easy.

    • Anonymous

      My prayers are with you Kelly. anybody can make a mistake. A hospital should video all procedures as a matter of legal defense to protect themselves and the doctors. To do otherwise seems shady to me

      • Dr Michael

        Dear Anonymous

        Physicians are highy educated and trained in their specialty. There are difficulties that do arise, however, these physicians use their education and training to do everything in the patients best interest. It is 99% of the attorneys that give the rest a bad name. Everyone expects professional people to be absolutely perfect, which is an impossibility. Do you do youir job perfectly every time? But I suppose there is not to much to be concerned about when you clean toilets.

    • anonymous

      Your post is an excellent example of why this no-photo policy is being enforced. Plus, without permission of the staff it violates the rights of hospital staff to not appear in your video/photo.

    • mike


    • Anonymous

      Could the “mistake” be that you were more concerned with recording than doing what the doctor was telling you to do to ensure a safe delivery? Just asking… If recording wasn’t permitted then the doctor isn’t the only one that allegedly made a mistake that day…

  • Kerry

    This is simply lawsuit protection for a hospital, nothing more. Yet more reason to use a midwife and have a homebirth if you have a low-risk and non-complicated pregnancy.

    • Anonymous

      Hah! You should see the trainwrecks that the midwives at the local ‘birthing clinic’ bring in our door. Those women are dangerous! Oxygen and meds? I’ll see your oxygen & meds and raise you an operating theater, a blood bank and a neonatologist! If you have a total abruption oxygen and meds won’t do much of anything for the mother or the baby.

      • Kerry

        Yes, because we all know that total abrpuption is extremely common and is caused only by midwives!!! 6.5 per 1,000 is hardly common! I guess you have the same attitude towards the docs who have that happen to them in the hospital too?

    • Robert

      Midwives? That’s the solution? The problem with midwives is that the moment there is a serious issue that requires a doctor, you now have to take your already-in-labor wife, throw her into a car and blast down the road hoping to get to a hospital in time – all of which is wasted time that would not be an issue if she is delivering at a hospital to begin with, not to mention an increased risk of harm to the child.

      • Kerry

        Robert, your knee-jerk post shows you aren’t educated about midwifery. Midwives are trained to deal with ALL forms of complications in birth, carry meds and oxygen, only take low-risk and uncomplicated cases and in the vast majority of ’emergencies,’ it can be seen coming far in advance, far enough to get the woman to the hospital before things get critical.

      • KB

        Throw your wife into a car and blsat down the road? What a lucky woman she is to have you. Most people would just call an ambulance.

      • Bri

        That’s not at all true. One, midwives come with oxygen, meds, monitors and all. Its not some wild untrained person. And two, there are usually signs well enough in advance to get women to the hospitals safely.

        If this weren’t the case, we’d see a statistical “risk” factor with home births. Higher infant mortality, higher mother mortality, but the fact is WE DON’T. It is, for normal pregnancies, actually SAFER than delivering in a hospital.

      • Hairy Herry

        That may be true Robert, but it comes down to the camera and what it catches. Look at Miami Beach police. Look at Las Vegas police. Both agencies have at least a rogue officer or two who didn’t want their arrest activities videotaped & on administrative leave with ongoing investigations. We’re looking at a doctor’s activities being videotaped too. Both can be sued. See the parallelism here? I knew ya would.

        It’s strange how few people being confronted by the police are willing to ask “Don’t you guys already have a dash cam? I don’t see the problem!” so it’s all about the damned litigation. One Iowa county refuses to host the annual RAGBRAI bicycle tour because someone died in the county and they got sued.

        It should be a choice. It’d be even better if there were a House Call service. An OBGYN with equipment to stabilize something out of order is already dispatched. This doctor already agreed in advance not to impose the communistic cam restrictions and jumps in if a problem is too great for the midwife. This doc will cost much more, but a niche market is a niche market.

    • Joy Lynn Wiseman

      I did home births with my two sons, I think I enjoyed it rather than jumping into a car while in labor and having to haul a bunch of stuff I would need, worry about forgetting stuff, worry if my baby is going to be switched or contract a disease (it still happens in the US), have a doctor tell me I need petocin to move me along faster. But I wouldn’t rule out a hospital birth, I’d just have a midwife attend to me vs. a doctor unless I absolutely needed one. But I feel safe giving birth at home, if a woman doesn’t feel safe being at home, her only other option shouldn’t have to be rude, pushy “You’re not giving birth fast enough!” doctors.

    • Ron

      You are 100% correct. But with todays recording technology, I wouldn’t hesitate to record secretly,

  • Penna

    Discrete: apart or detached from others; separate.

    Discreet: judicious in one’s conduct or speech, especially with regard to respecting privacy or maintaining silence about something of a delicate nature.

    Rookie mistake.

  • Lindsay Van Allen

    Really, because homebirth has been proven just as safe, if not safer than hospital births for uncomplicated and healthy moms. Actually the US has a higher infant mortality rate and mother mortality rate for birth than all other industrialized countries. And those other countries have far higher rates of home birth and use midwives. Sorry Lionel!

    • Don

      Sources please!

      • Momof2

        5000 years of civlized humanity – where the majority of all human beings were NOT birthed in hospitals is your evidence.

      • :P

        Actually Momof2, more people have been born in the past 200 years than in all of the past history of the world and most of them were born in hospitals.

      • bri

        That’s not true…most of the world STILL doesn’t deliver in a hospital. And in Europe, you get a midwife and the choice of an assisted home birth.

      • tyetye

        excellent let’s stop that cancer research too, that’s pretty recent so it must not be very helpful.

    • Melissa in NorCal

      Lindsay, they have lower rates because they do not try and save children born extremely pre-term, at 22-25 weeks. They do not include those babies as live births that died. We do. You can make numbers say whatever you want if you control the data.

  • Troy

    Just about the lawsuits folks, that’s all. Not about discretion or privacy. MONEY. Get a button camera and record anyway. Upside, if nothing goes wrong, then you have a wonderful record of the event. Upside, if something goes wrong ‘due to negligence or a deliberate failure’, the you have proof of the event.

    • matlock

      Hey knucklehead
      It would not be admissible in court. 1st year law student could recognize that. It was recorded illegally therefore the proponderance of evidecnce is null and void. Case dismissed

    • Momof2

      All this political ccorrectness about how “wonderful” it is to see the “beautiful” baby etc…..what a bunch of BOLOGNY!

      Newborn babies are NOT beautiful – they are distroted, heads dented and misshapened due to trama coming out of the womb, blotchy colored, slimy with placenta etc…. Babies don’t become beautiful until about 8 hours later once all the weariness of being born has subsided. If people tell you otherwise, they are only being polite – even teenagers who are forced to watch such videos in high school gag and turn their heads in disgust. Only your narcissism blinds you to the fact that your child’s birth is just as disgusting to watch on film as anyone else’s.

      • Bee

        It is a disgusting process.

      • Anonymous

        Your full of sh..
        I have a pic of my Daughter seconds after her birth and she was beautiful..
        My other two, not so much..
        Your blanket statement shows how ignorant you are…

      • Momof5

        If you don’t think that your own baby is beautiful at birth, then there is something wrong.

      • Joy Lynn Wiseman

        What’s “beautiful” about it is the immense pain a woman goes through, the extreme pressure both mother and child have on them during the process, and then to have them come out and take that first breath showing you, the mother who labored so hard, that your efforts were not in vain, and your baby is alive. The child itself does not have to be beautiful, but they are alive and you can now see them and hold them and love them. That is the beauty of it.
        I have pictures of both my sons first breaths of air, they are blue, covered in birth stuff. But it did not take 8 hours for them to pink up and look beautiful. It was mere minutes.

      • Troy

        Much like Anonymous, my child also was beautiful. I’d show you the pictures to prove it, but posting on here ain’t happening. No misshapen head, splotchiness to a minimum, and quite pretty. I know, I was there and filmed ad helped the delivery. LOL, the ‘doctor’ fell down and I had to help ‘catch’… And yeah, there is blood and placenta mess, but if you’re willing to father a child, you should be willing to stand like a man in your wife and child’s delivery room. And just because I filmed it, doesn’t mean I invite others to watch it. It is personal. Who on here said otherwise? We don’t invite people in to watch it. Only your belief that others are less sophisticated than you causes you to state that we are narcissistic enough to try to show it to others.

      • Rodney Dangerfield

        Mine looked like the UPS man.

      • Troll Fail

        Troll fail

      • Dave

        What does Political Correctness have to do with wanting to see the child birth? If you’re going to use the PC label, at least know what it means.

  • andy

    This is just another human rights violation by the criminal organization modern medicine has become.

    You have a right to memorialize important parts of your personal life any way you wish.

    • Dr Kevorkian

      But not in my institution

    • Momof2

      Says who?

      By what authority do you claim such a ‘right”?

      • bri

        Being a sentient being? You don’t have to have any special authority other than exisiting, to live your life how you want if you cause no harm to others. Its the fundamental of civil rights. Though we have to fight for them from each other–they were “given” to you by virtue of existing.

      • Troy

        Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Those rights were stated before the constitution existed, but everyone forgets that they exist.

        It makes us happy to film events in our lives.

      • M

        By what authority do you deny them their “right”?

      • Momof2


        First off, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness is not equivalent to having a “right” to bring video-taping equipment onto someone else’s property.

        Secondly, the “Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness” is in the US Declaration of Independene, NOT the US Constituion.

        Thirdly, the US Constituion PROTECTS the rights of citizens, it doesn’t endow rights. The US Constituion makes clear that those rights are INALIENABLE rights endowed by OUR CREATOR – God Almighty – not some government and not merely because you are a “sentiinent human being”.

        You don’t get to make up “rights” just because you like them. The First Amendment and the Fourth Amendment makes clear who’s property is protected for freedom of speech and expression. You do not have a “right” – civil or otherwise – to videotape other people’s proerty or actions without their express consent when you are on THEIR property.

        If you want to video tape your kids’ birth, have them on your own property.

    • nickodemus

      sure you do. You are welcome to have the child in the comfort of your own home like people have done for thousands of years. Have at it and record the whole thing!

      • Octane Oden

        Unless the pregnancy is indicated as problematic. Look at the potential of some Nanny State coming in and forcing the mother into a hospital for the welfare of the child – at a hospital with these communistic restrictions.
        Well, if you’re forced in that scenario – tell the State they’ll pay for it, like they do for all these Anchor Babies.

    • socrates

      You are pregnant for months. I think that is more than enough time to find a doctor who will let you record the birth. You have a right to find a doctor who thinks like you and is willing to do the birth your way. Nothing else.

  • Billie Arnold

    I had twin boys in 1963. Dads were not allowed in the delivery room much less cameras. Quit whinning.

    • bri

      So, what was fine for you must be fine for everyone else?

  • Bob the Destructor

    People are born naturally and they die naturally, why do we need hospitals to interfere with process? Heroin, cocaine, crack, morphine, marijuana, tequilas, should take care of it.

  • Anonymous

    My baby was born on July 4; it was beautiful and freaky at the same time. At the time we didnt video tape it but now I wish we did. My daughter came out with such a funny expression like “WHAT ?” LOL. As an attorney I would advise it also.

  • beenthereguy

    What this is really about is protecting doctors from malpractice lawsuits. The hospitals dont want you filming because it can be used as evidence when doctors make mistakes durning child delivery. Doctors, Nurses, & hospitals have a yearly motrality rate. Thousands of people are killed or disabled every year by doctors & nurses. So remeber why they say “No cameras, please”

    • there_is_nowhere

      What a moron. The systemically, corrupt healthcare system you crow about is 200% owned by the taxpayer. Don’t tell me what we can do with the assets you stole. The solution is the completely nationalized (and equally delivered) healthcare system promised but never fulfilled by Hizzoner.

    • Momof2

      Well that begs the question of rational choices. If you KNOW for a fact that “thousands of people are killed or disabled every year by doctors and nurse”, and yet you still choose to go there to deliver your child – when nature will do the job for you with little help from third parties – then that’s an acceptable risk you have made – or an irrational one – you decide.

      • ggsdfg

        so you put your kids in danger havign them at a HOSPITAL? What a lousy mother – lemme guess fat gossipy nurse smellign of stale tobacco and cheetos right?

  • Troy

    In 1963, ‘Dads’ didn’t want to be in there. The times, they are a changing… Come into the modern era.

  • In Which Robbo Ponders Too Much Information « The Port Stands At Your Elbow

    […] cheers for Pittsburgh-area hospitals cracking down on cameras in delivery rooms.  They seem motivated more by the desire to ensure that Doctor Bob doesn’t get caught […]

  • Bobarian

    We can still record a video of the conception though, right?

    • Momof2

      In your own home – not if the child is conceived in a hospital. :)

    • Aaron Ross

      please and post it on the internet

  • HPS

    I was just at the delivery of my grandson.. let me tell you they should have CAMERA’S IN EVERY DELIVERY ROOM.. The doctor was RUDE the whole experience was h3ll for my daughter and her husband.. While the baby is alright.. THANK GOD.. it is ONLY by the grace of GOD.. Actually if the hospitals were smart THEY would record the birth and SELL them to the mothers.. that way it would GUARANTEE proper procedures and bedside manner.. although I see that HOME BIRTHS are drastically rising.. could it be the way the hospitals are handling them in house??

    • Bill C.

      So it was the grace of G-d that the baby was alright and it has nothing to do with the doctors who endured years and years of schooling? I got news for you…..all the proper procedures in the world don’t guarantee a delivery without complication. It happens. The last thing the doctors need is some idiot with a video camera in their faces while they’re trying to do their jobs.

    • AJ

      I love how GOD gets all the credit for the successful birth, but the DOCTOR gets blamed for anything that goes wrong… The doctor and nurses receive no credit whatsoever for their education, skill, and experience… Nope, it’s all God.

  • ExSophus

    All they are trying to do is eliminate possible EVIDENCE against them in case something goes wrong or there is negligence.

    I see this as exactly the same as increasing efforts by police in the US that want to make it illegal to photo/video/audio record police in PUBLIC venues.

    The only meaningful reason is to COVER-UP negligent, ignorant, and/or illegal actions.

  • George Marler

    After 30+ years in healthcare, my advice is to record everything you can. Negligence is RAMPANT in hospitals. If you think delivery rooms are a hotbed of dirty deeds…you should see what goes on in the surgical suites while you’re getting hacked up.

  • Lucretia Garfield

    Hurrah for the hospital at least they are showing some decorum. I really don’t want to see the emailed clips of births, operations, baby’s first use of the potty or the recent one that I received of the last moments of an elderly relatives life.

    Truthfully no one ants to see this stuff and if they do, they need help

    • vbvcbx

      right because everyone that takes a film is forced to email it out – and those on the receiving end are bound by law to view them. What an idiot you are

  • sanity

    This is about trial lawyers raping the medical profession in the name of the poor saps they tell “you have a case.” Remember, 8 out of every 10 “you have a case” lawsuits the plaintiff loses because guess why? They didn’t have a case… Just because a doctor is rude doesn’t mean he made a mistake, just because the baby comes out sideways, upside down, backwards, with the cord around its neck, is too big for the birth canal, came out early, came out late, or any of the other hundreds of different possible problems during birth doesn’t mean the doctor “made a mistake.” Trial lawyers don’t care, they just see bucks in poor outcomes and go after it… Health care cost so much almost entirely due to these bottomfeeding lawyers.

    As far as “the US has the highest infant/mother mortality rates” – this is a tired statistical lie that is brought out whenever it suits an argument. The truth of the matter is that the US counts ALL infants who die, where EVERY other country uses a weight limit of the baby to declare it a miscarriage and thus not count it as an infant death. So, in the US if your baby comes out weighing say 300g all life saving measures are undertaken to try to save the baby. In Europe, a cutoff of 2500g is often used to decide whether it’s “worth it” to try to save your baby’s life. If the baby weighs to little…. miscarriage not infant mortality. Talk about a death panel. Similar statistical tricks are used in maternal mortality rates – if you die (of any cause) within 3 months of delivery in the US you’re counted as a “maternal death.” In other countries it can be as little as 24 to 72 hours and only after someone has decided that it was birth related, then it’s counted as a maternal death.

  • fred

    I videotaped the birth of my son 18 years ago solely for the purpose of having that wonderful moment to have and enjoy for years to come. As it turns out, it became much more. My son was born after 4 hours of pushing almost dead and lived less than three days. The doctor tried to blame it on me, claming that I got in the way and would not allow proper medical care. Fortunately, we had the videotape which proved that he was lying. He was totally unaware of the monitor indicating that the baby was slowly going into distress and was in the dying prosses. He proved his incompetence by joking and laughing the whole time.
    If they have nothing to hide they should not object to the filming.

    • Troy

      Thank you Fred. You have stated the reason in a concise and very sad paragraph. I am sorry for your pain and your loss. Thankfully you had video to show the incompetence of your doctor.

      This and only this, is the reason for the ban. It has nothing to do with decorum, or privacy.

    • Joy Lynn Wiseman

      I’m sorry for your loss.

    • Momof2

      “If they have nothing to hide they should not object to the filming.”

      That’s EXACTLY what the government says about all menbers of society.

    • Beef

      Can we film YOU? After all, if you have nothing to hide, what’s the problem?

      • Beef

        Really, if you think you have to film your doctors “just in case”, then you need to find new ones. If I was a doctor, lawyer or plumber for that matter, I would refuse as a customer anyone who came at me with that attitude. Nothing good could come of that relationship.

      • sggs

        if I have my hand sin your wife’s hoohaa and aroudn the neck of your child yes, yes you may.

  • Thomas Paine

    If the doctors and hospitals are so afraid of making a mistake, they should not be doing the procedures, births or surgical, in the first place. If the doctors follow standard, professionally acceptable practices and actions are defensible, the cameras would provide evidence of no wrongdoing. I am actually surprised cameras are not in all delivery and operating rooms (apart from the patient privacy issues).

    • Bill C.

      I got news for you…..even if the doctors follow “standard, professionally acceptable pracrices and actions,” that does not guarantee a delivery without complication.

  • Ghostsouls

    Just like cops don’t want to be videotaped when they are working, neither do the hospitals, it is called evidence……

  • Anonymous

    My wife gave birth to both our children at an Air Force hospital in 1974 and 1976. I was in the room for both and when she went into labor for our son in 1976, I got permission from the DR. to film it using my state of the art 8MM (no audio) camera. All of 3-5 minutes timed judicially to not run out of tape too soon. Told my wife I would though out any objectionable scenes, she said she wants to keep it all. We play it to relive that special day and the simple life of young parenthood. Too bad society has gotten so complicated to have this discussion about needing permission to film your own family.

  • healthcare nationalist

    There wouldn’t be any problems at all if Obama had delivered completely, nationalized [universal] healthcare. Sue the entire, systemically corrupt, healthcare potemkin !
    Elect Ron Paul 2012 !

  • Black Eag,e

    This whole hospital birth thing, with an MD in a white coat, is so Medieval. Women strapped in like an astronaut, bright lights, masks and gowns…primitive barbarism of a technocratic sort. Birth at home with family and an older lady who knows the birth process is healthier and safer than in any hospital, where a few doors away you have people dying of all sorts of infectious diseases. But this is all about money, and keeping women scared. “Doctors are Gods!”

    • Melissa in norCal

      I wish I could have seen a doctor. All I had were midwives. I begged for painkillers for 20 hours before they finally helped me. They told me son would be about 6 pounds. I labored for 33 hours, hard. I pushed for 3.5 hours. They had to tear him from my body and tore me from end to end. He was 10 pounds. I wish a doctor would have ordered a C-section. My friends who had C-sections were not emotionally damaged by their procedures, they heled completely too. To this day, sex is very painful, and I fear another child. The grass is always greener as they say….

      • KerryAnn @

        Melissa, the issue is informed consent and choice. If you want a C-section or take meds, you should have that choice. If you want to use a midwife or a doctor, a homebirth or a hospital birth, you should have that choice. The issue here is that many people aren’t allowed that choice, and you were left traumatized.

  • Jon Weiss

    If the hospital does not want a camera in the delivery room due to possible liability issues, apparently that hospital is not competent enough to deliver my child. If my camera is not wanted apparently my money is not wanted there either.

    • Momof2

      Fair enough.

      That is your choice, and probably a good choice.

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