Would patients undergoing surgery benefit from having a “black box” in the operating room?
A Wisconsin legislator said Wednesday she planned to introduce such a bill, one that would require that hospitals to offer patients the option of having their surgeries videotaped.
Rep. Christine Sinicki (D-Milwaukee) said such a measure would benefit both patients who are victims of medical malpractice and doctors who want to defend themselves.
“Patient lives have been severely altered or lost in Wisconsin and in other states due to practices and actions in operating rooms and outpatient facilities,” Sinicki said. “Currently it is often impossible to find out exactly what happened during these procedures, since testimony from the attending medical staff is often the only source of information.”
Sinicki acknowledged that she knows of no other states that have such a law and that she would face an uphill fight in the Republican controlled Legislature.
The bill would require facilities that offer surgery to give patients the option of having their procedures audiovisually recorded. It would allow patients to sign advanced directives indicating they want all of their surgeries recorded or on a surgery-by-surgery basis.
It would be named after Julie Ayer Rubenzer, 38, who stopped breathing Sept. 25, 2003, while undergoing breast implant surgery at a doctor’s office in Florida.