A San Diego hospital has been accused of secretly filming 1,800 women with motion-sensing cameras hidden inside gynecology operating rooms.
A class-action lawsuit filed by 81 of the affected women claims that videos taken at Sharp Grossmont Hospital recorded live births, miscarriages, hysterectomies, and other procedures. The videos showed women’s faces and in some cases recorded them undressing. According to the lawsuit, the hospital made no effort to track who accessed the videos, which were stored on desktop computers, some of which weren’t password protected.
According to hospital spokesperson John Cihomsky, the hidden cameras had been installed on anesthesia carts after repeated instances of drugs being stolen.
“The purpose of the three cameras was to ensure patient safety by determining the cause of drugs missing from the carts,” Cihomsky told Buzzfeed.
Allison Goddard, an attorney representing the women in the lawsuit, told Buzzfeed that the secret recordings were “a shocking breach of patient privacy.”
“I’ve talked to hundreds of women who were affected by it. The response is nearly universal: They just can’t believe it happened,” said Goddard. In the videos, she noted, some mothers could be seen greeting their babies for the first time, while others endured the grief of miscarriages or stillbirths.
“For some women it was the happiest day of their lives,” she said. “For some it was the saddest.”
Read the full story at Buzzfeed.