Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Audio and panoramic video recording in the operating room: legal and ethical perspectives
  1. Mauricio Gabrielli1,
  2. Luca Valera2,
  3. Marcelo Barrientos3
  1. 1 Department of Digestive Surgery, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
  2. 2 Department of Philosophy, Bioethics Centre, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
  3. 3 Department of Law, Insurance Research Center, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
  1. Correspondence to Professor Luca Valera, Bioethics Centre and Department of Philosophy, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago 8331150, Chile; luvalera{at}


Introduction The idea of video recording (VR) in the operating room (OR) with panoramic cameras and microphones is a new concept that is changing the approach to medical activities in the OR. However, VR in the OR has brought up many concerns regarding patient privacy and has highlighted legal and ethical issues that were never previously exposed.

Aim To review the literature concerning these aspects and provide a better ethical and legal understanding of the new challenges concerning VR in the OR.

Conclusions There is a disparity between the two main legal models concerning VR in the OR, namely the European legal system (General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)) and the American legal framework (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)). This difference mainly deals with two distinct bioethical paradigms: GDPR places a strong emphasis on protecting patients’ privacy to improve the public health system, whereas HIPAA indicates the need to generate protocols to safeguard the risks connected to medical activity and patient privacy. Following from this point, we may argue that, at the ethical and bioethical level, GDPR and HIPAA depend mainly on two different ethical models: a perspective based on moral acquaintances and weak proceduralism, respectively. It is worth noting the importance of developing additional guidelines concerning different world regions to avoid the ethical problems that may emerge when simply applying a foreign paradigm to a very different culture.

  • informed consent
  • clinical ethics
  • legal aspects
  • research ethics
  • surgery

Data availability statement

There are no data in this work

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Data availability statement

There are no data in this work

View Full Text


  • Contributors MG: responsible for the ‘Introduction’ and ‘The new era of audio and panoramic VR in the OR: potential benefits’. LV: responsible for ‘The ethical issues of VR in the OR’ and the ‘Conclusion’. MB: responsible for ‘The legal issues of VR in the OR’.

  • Funding This research has been funded by Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile – grant ‘VRI Interdisciplina Nº II170080’.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.