Mandatory Installation of CCTV in Operating Rooms
Mandatory Installation of CCTV in Operating Rooms
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  • 승인 2021.09.27 12:47
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By Ock Ju-won

Recently a bill has passed detailing mandatory installation of CCTV in operating rooms, which includes recording and filming surgery operations with the consent of patients. The bill allows records to be used in the event of medical accidents and suspected malpractice. Currently, controversy about the bill continues even though it has not been properly discussed in The National Assembly (NA). Let's start with the opposition of the Korean Medical Association (KMA).

Discussions on CCTV installation in the operating rooms start with the prevention of ghost surgeries (when a second party does the surgery instead of the consented surgeon). KMA understands the patient's concern about what is going on in the operating room. However, it is not right to monitor and interfere with hardworking medical professionals because incidents, like ghost surgeries, seldom happen. Also, the problem can be prevented by installing CCTV at the entrance of the operating room or hallway, not in it. Of course, these discussions are not held only in Korea; no country in the world requires mandatory recording of operating rooms.

Another problem with mandatory installation of CCTV in the operating rooms would directly infringe on doctors' right to ensure patient confidentiality. The operating room is an extremely private area; meaning patients are exposed and vulnerable before and during operation. Even though patients give consent, sensitive body parts revealed may be susceptible to blackmail or video leaks by malicious hackers who target medical institutions. What is worse, we cannot completely rule out the possibility that the patient's body can be shared in secret chat rooms and pornographic sites. This will add to patients' anxiety, including investigations over who is responsible for the breach of confidentiality. Because of a potential lawsuit, surgery departments may lose support from medical surgeons, which will lead to more internal problems for hospitals.

Operations are done by trust between patients and doctors, not by monitoring and recording medical professionals. I think it is necessary to form social consultative groups so that a professional culture based on trust can be developed between medical professionals and patients. Furthermore, I think it would be good to continue having conversations not only on the installation of CCTV, but also on overall safety in the operating room.


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