Story By: Anastasia Smirnova, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
Russian medics have refused to remove a camera positioned to film women lying naked as they are being examined by their gynaecologist because the room is a “public space” and the cameras are apparently needed to fight terrorism.
The scandal came to light when a patient, Ekaterina Serebrennikova, sat on the examination table and then spot a camera on the wall opposite positioned to film her as she was being “intimately” examined.
The woman complained about the camera to staff at the woman’s health clinic located in the city of Kalinigrad in north-western Russia’s Kaliningrad Oblast region.
She said: “The office is only two by two metres in size, it has a medical bed and an ultrasound machine.
“A gynaecological ultrasound is performed naked. I got undressed and then noticed a camera right above the medical bed. You are practically lying naked right in front of a camera.”
Ekaterina told local media it is incredibly uncomfortable to be videotaped at such an intimate moment.
However, the woman was even more shocked when she heard the response from the surgery after she complained.
Instead of addressing her concerns, the hospital provided Ekaterina with a document claiming the doctor’s office is a public space and that they are therefore entitled to film. They also said they wanted to fight against terrorism and corruption and therefore the camera was necessary and would not be removed.
But they remain unrepentant, and in a written response insisted it was a way of preventing conflict between doctors and patients, as well as ‘corruption and terrorism’.
Ekaterina said: “This is their way of fighting corruption… Is that ok?”
Head of the clinic, Oleg Sednev, told local media: “The filming is not personal, there is nearly no image of a patient on camera and it is impossible to identify who is in the video.”
Lawyer Zhanna Altunyan said: “The mere fact of consulting a doctor already implies doctor-patient privilege. It is a secret that cannot be passed on to third parties.”
Local media report that a lot of clients decided to change clinic shortly after the news about the cameras hit the headlines.
It is unclear if the authorities are looking into the matter.
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