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Clinical photography and patient rights: the need for orthopraxy
  1. I Berle
  1. I Berle, Department of Medical Illustration, The Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel Road, London E1 1BB; ian.berle{at}


The increasing use of digital image recording devices, whether they are digital cameras or mobile phone cameras, has democratised clinical photography in the UK. However, when non-professional clinical photographers take photographs of patients the issues of consent and confidentiality are either ignored or given scant attention.

Whatever the status of the clinician, the taking of clinical photographs must be practised within the context of a professional etiquette. Best practice recognises the need for informed consent and the constraints associated with confidentiality. Against the background of the poverty of the current discourse of these issues, as presented during the Valentine GMC Fitness to Practice1 hearing, the paper considers the need for orthopraxy in the use of clinical photography.

  • consent
  • confidentiality
  • patient rights
  • human rights
  • human rights abuses

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  • Competing interests: None.

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