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use of photos in medical journals

Forum: Heated Debates


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March 2nd, 2012, 07:34 AM
Quantum_Leap's Avatar frequent flier
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Seattle area, Washington
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I was trolling around Wikipedia the other day and randomly followed some links that led me to this article: Medical photography: ethics, consent and the intersex patient - Creighton - 2008 - BJU International - Wiley Online Library

The article focuses on intersex patients (this is the current medical term for what was once referred to as hermaphroditism), and how photographs of the genitalia of intersex patients are frequently used in medical journals, medical textbooks, and other educational materials, purportedly for the purpose of educating doctors about treatment options. The authors take issue with these photographs, on the grounds that (a) they are often obtained and/or used without the consent of the patient, (b) the photographer does not always take the necessary steps to ensure the patient's anonymity (i.e. the patient's face or other identifiable features are included in the photo), and, (c) they are frequently of young children, who are not always able to give their consent and who might be traumatized by the experience of being photographed naked (even for a medical purpose).

I can't copy and paste quotes from the article because it's a PDF and the copy and paste function isn't working for me. But the article is interesting, you should read it.

So....what do you think? Which is more important: the medical community's need to obtain photographs of very rare conditions in order to educate future doctors? Or should the patient's right to privacy trump this? In particular, when it comes to very young children with these types of conditions, should their parents have the right to consent to their photographs being used? Or should we err on the side of patient privacy until the child comes of age and is able to give consent on his own?

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March 2nd, 2012, 07:57 AM
Fluffy Baby's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Feb 2007
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i am leaning towards pictures need to be taken, but the appropiate premission should be sought after.
Leann <3 Hector
My trio: Alyssa 7, Tristan 4.75, Gavin 1.5

I am a mixture of all that and a bag of chips... IJS

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March 2nd, 2012, 03:10 PM
*Leslie*'s Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I'm confused as to why the photo would ever have to show identifying features. As with any pic, permission should always be given before anyone publishes anything. If people could be assured that their faces wouldn't be posted, you'd probably have a lot of people willing to give their consent.

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March 2nd, 2012, 04:56 PM
HappyHippy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I always think the consent should be given. Also in some hospitals people do sign photography consent forms in case of an abnormality, and many patients don't even know this. A lot of times it's with other things you're signing and you won't know about it unless you read the forms. I also know Doctors who take pictures of ambiguous (sp) genatalia when a baby is born, but they don't publish it unless consent is given. The picture is put in the patients files for future refrences especially if surgery is going to be performed. Which leads me to another thing, most surgical Doctors take before and after pictures (even if it's not cosmetic surgery).
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Started off 2013 homebirthing suprise twins Fia Celesta & Maddalena Isabella
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March 2nd, 2012, 05:56 PM
Hey... Where's Perry?'s Avatar Darnit face
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Originally Posted by Fluffy Baby View Post
Little baby Gavin is beautiful! Congrats.
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March 2nd, 2012, 09:19 PM
Fluffy Baby's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Thank you
Leann <3 Hector
My trio: Alyssa 7, Tristan 4.75, Gavin 1.5

I am a mixture of all that and a bag of chips... IJS

Rest In Peace Jennifer <3

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