This bill makes South Korea the first developed country to require cameras to record surgical procedures. It was born after a series of medical incidents involving unqualified staff performing surgery on behalf of doctors.
One of those cases involved university student Kwon Dae-hee. He died of bleeding in Seoul in October 2016 after 49 days in a coma due to jaw surgery.
South Korean parliamentarians are voting to pass a law requiring cameras in operating rooms.
The victim’s mother, Lee Na-geum, obtained camera footage of her son’s surgery. She said she had watched the seven-and-a-half-hour video more than 1,000 times and was able to demonstrate that an unqualified nursing assistant and a trainee doctor performed the operation, not the surgeon. aesthetics as promised.
Ms. Na-geum shared: “There are many grieving families who cannot trace the truth because there is no concrete evidence when a healthy person dies in the operating room. I hope that the bereaved family can know the truth through the video and there will be no more unjust deaths.”
With the video evidence she gathered, Lee Na-geum filed a lawsuit against the hospital and the chief surgeon. The doctor was later found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to three years in prison.
There have been numerous attempts to amend the Health Services Act to require surveillance cameras. However, this is prevented by lobbying doctors.
The Korean Medical Association opposes the bill, saying it undermines trust in doctors.
The Korean Medical Association (KMA) with 140,000 members claims that video surveillance of the operating room will erode trust in doctors and violate patients’ privacy. KMA spokesman Park Soo-hyun said this was discouraging for future doctors.
Spokesperson Soo-hyun said, “Many people have expressed their intention not to apply for the position of surgery or the surgical department if a camera system is installed. This will lead to the collapse of a care unit. Korea’s critical medical care”.
However, some doctors believe the bill could be beneficial.
Plastic surgeon Kim Seon-woong said, “As a doctor, I think it’s time for Korea to need surveillance cameras in the operating room. I believe this can prevent crimes like this. “ghost surgery” (changing surgeons without the patient knowing), illegal organ harvesting, sexual assault, and quite a few medical accidents in absurd circumstances.