Videotapes of childbirth to become strong evidence of medical mistakes at court

The majority of Russian women cannot let anyone else but doctors be present in the maternity ward

It is not yet widely popular in Russia to take video of childbirth, while women abroad think it is normal to have video of their delivery. Childbirth, like any other memorable event such as wedding, jubilee, baby's first steps and so on, is worth videotaping. Just to play a videotape with some memorable event in several years to remember how that all happened.

The majority of Russian women cannot let anyone else but doctors be present in the maternity ward. This is the basic reason why they do not want their childbirth to be videotaped. Many women agree to take a picture of themselves and their babies after the delivery. Some advanced mothers pose in the maternity ward just several minutes before the delivery.

The reluctance to videotape childbirth is explained with the general opinion that this event is not particularly beautiful. But the miracle of childbirth can actually appear on video without any scary or not beautiful moments. This depends upon a cameraman what episodes of childbirth will be videotaped. These may be episodes demonstrating emotional feelings of a mother, of her husband, doctors and the first glance of a baby. Later, some moments may be cut out to make the film nice for showing to family and friends.

Videotaping childbirth is usually typical of those couples who deliver babies at home. Filming the delivery is still somewhat exotic in Russian maternity hospitals. Moscow companies offering videotaping of memorable events can also make a film of childbirth. There are enough baby-friendly maternity hospitals that allow husbands and cameramen be present at childbirth.

Videotaping of delivery is gaining popularity in Russia now. This is not just the matter of popularity, however. Such video may be used as the basic argument at court in case doctors are accused of careless attitude towards patients. Indeed, such a videotape may be actually helpful in those cases when infants die in maternity hospitals because of doctors' negligence. It is an open secret that registration of medical documents at Russian hospitals leaves much to be desired. Even if doctors do commit errors, it is easy not to register them in medical documents or remove any evidence out of documents. From this point of view, videotapes with childbirth are more effective evidence because couples or their relatives take them home right after baby birth. Such videotapes may reveal doctors' errors or faults when watched by medical experts.

As a rule, doctors do not object to videotaping of childbirth if it goes OK; in case there are problems, cameramen and fathers will be forced out of the maternity ward. So, doctors sometimes take much effort not to let their faults be filmed on video. Is this the reason why many maternity hospitals do not allow videotaping of childbirth?
It is most likely that Russian doctors do not take seriously the opportunity of using videotapes with childbirth as a strong argument against them at court. Suits against doctors in Russia are not that popular as abroad. However, such processes may begin in case videotaping of childbirth obtains more popularity in this country.

Today, democratic American doctors revolt against videotaping of delivery. At that, they explain that cameramen running about the maternity ward searching for nice perspective are annoying disturbers. Doctors say that they have to think a lot of how they look in this or that particular situation if a cameraman is in the maternity ward. But doctors must remember that cameraman focuses on a mother and her baby, not doctors and their looks. If doctors are apprehensive of probable trials at court, they should allow videotaping in the maternity ward, as videotapes may become the only evidence proving that doctors performed everything correctly.

Remember that doctors are ordinary people like anyone of us, and they do make mistakes sometimes. But being people responsible for the lives of others, they must be especially careful.

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Author`s name Olga Savka