Hospital accused of secretly filming “unconscious, undressed” women
La Mesa, Calif. — Dozens of women are suing a Southern California hospital, claiming they were secretly filmed during medical procedures including having surgery and giving birth, according to a report. The lawsuit filed last week says female patients were recorded by motion-activated cameras set up in three operating rooms at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa as part of an effort to catch a possible drug thief, the New York Times reported.
Eighty-one women are named as plaintiffs in the class-action suit. They’re seeking unspecified damages.
“It’s universal shock from the patients, and disgust,” attorney Allison Goddard, who represents the plaintiffs, told the Times.
In a statement, the hospital defended the use of the cameras.
“Although the cameras were intended to record only individuals in front of the anesthesia carts removing drugs, others, including patients and medical personnel in the operating rooms, were at times visible to the cameras and recorded,” the hospital near San Diego said in a statement.
The videos show “female patients unconscious, undressed on operating room tables and undergoing medical procedures,” the filing stated.
One woman says she was recorded while giving birth by emergency cesarean section, the lawsuit said. Other procedures caught on video include “birth complications, dilation and curettage to resolve miscarriages, hysterectomies and sterilization procedures,” court documents said.
The hospital indicated patients consented to the video recordings through a generic patient admissions agreement since the issue involved patient safety, according to the news station.