A few years ago, I had the following conversation with a patient:
Patient's mother: "My daughter told me you told her X and Y."
Me: "Hmm. Well, I'm not sure I said that to her. Maybe she misunderstood."
Patient's mother: "You did! And I know you did, because she recorded you talking to her and played it for me!"
So that was horrifying. I don't know how many patients are actually secretly recording me, but it's not something I had ever considered before. I'm pretty sure it's illegal without my consent, a fact that I decided it was best not to bring up in this conversation.
Later, the patient apologized to me for recording me and was very embarrassed. She said she can't remember conversations unless she records them, so she records all doctors' conversations. Which is fine, but shouldn't she ask permission first???
You can record people all you want even though it's creepy. But if you don't tell them you're doing it, it's inadmissible as evidence for any case they might bring against you in most states.ReplyDelete
Excuse me, for any case *they* might bring against *you*--I'm good with grammar I promise!Delete
I don't know about in-person conversations, but it only requires single-party consent for legally recording phone calls in most US states. As long as one party in the phone conversation knows that the recording is happening, it's legit.ReplyDelete
I actually think you should be reassured by the fact that that patient recorded you. People are known to forget a big percentage of what they're told by doctors. She was trying to make sure that she had a way to retain what you said.
Some states have "one-way" and some have "two-way" consent. One-way and anyone who is part of the conversation can record. Two-way and each party has to agree. And actually I am pretty sure it has to do with the legality of recording in general - but in practice really only becomes relevant when people want to submit a recording as evidence. No prosecutor is going to go after the little old lady who records her doctor visits. (Though I am not a lawyer - just what I've heard (but not recorded) over the years.)ReplyDelete
It would have been polite to inform the doctor the conversation is being recorded. As to legalities, I believe it changes from state to state. I know that in SC it is legal (or at least was 30 years ago) to record a phone conversation so long as at least one of the parties knew it was being recorded. I think you can still buy phone pickups in most electronics stores.ReplyDelete
Eleven states require the consent of every party to a phone call or conversation in order to make the recording lawful. These "two-party consent" laws have been adopted in California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington.ReplyDelete
Special considerations apply when recording police officers or other public officials. You may have a constitutional right to openly record the activities of police and other officials in public, so long as you do not interfere with those activities or violate generally applicable laws.Delete
I wouldn't think that a physician would fall under this category....but one could argue that it is a public safety issue
And I live in one of those states.Delete
Perhaps the mother misunderstood what was on the recording. Should have asked your patient to play it back for you.ReplyDelete
I can say there are a lot of patients that need to do this, to be honest. With the barely 10 min visits sometimes, it is so quick that you will forget stuff. Docs talk about not being respected but if someone is going I can't remember this and there isn't time for teachback, etc. go for it.ReplyDelete
Not only that but if something happens to a person, another one can help out by replaying stuff. Do you know how many people who are older themselves are taking care of parents? Without having something to record, you have no idea what it is like to try and keep up.
I would suggest the reason why she didn't want to tell you was more of being embarrassed about not remembering. I'm a big big big note taker. I'm sorry but I need the organization.
I know it seems wierd, but not everyone is out to sue a doc. Many people now are just so used to using a camera phone, etc. that it is becoming natural, rather than handwriting stuff down.
I would have 100% been nice about it if she'd quickly explained and asked my permission. It just felt like a violation to be recorded without my consent.Delete
Yup. My husband had a stroke (luckily with relatively minimal deficits) and I could no t make one of his early neurology appointments. I had him record it - with the doctor's knowledge of course! I was glad I did because she's an academic and just not 100 percent great at the whole lay person speak. So it was useful that I heard what she had to say. But of course we wouldn't have brought any spy equipment into the clinic. Any doctor you need to spy on is not a doctor you should be seeing!Delete