BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Even if you do enjoy occasionally watching reality shows, you can’t really say it’s good television. First of all, it really doesn’t have a plot, and other than watching it to turn your brain off for a while, there really isn’t a point to it. Second of all, it sometimes takes advantage of people by filming them when they’re not expecting it, something which isn’t quite right from an ethical point of view.
At least that’s what a court decided in a specific case, and it’s what all hospitals might soon decide, as reality shows might soon be banned from hospitals. This follows a court ruling in which a family was awarded $2.2 million when they found out that the dying father had been filmed without his permission.
You can probably imagine what a traumatic even it would be to turn on the TV and to see your dead husband or father in a reality show in the final days of his life. It’s’ not at all a pleasant feeling, even if the person’s face was blurred out. In fact, you may take the case to court.
That’s what Kenneth Chanko did when his mother turned the TV on one day only to find that he was featured on ABC’s NY Med in his final days alive. And everything had been done without even the family knowing about it. But let me first give you a little bit of backstory.
Back in 2011 Mark Chanko, beloved husband and father, was struck by a garbage truck and taken for emergency treatment to the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Unbeknownst to the family, an ABC film crew started documenting the doctors’ failed attempt at saving the man’s life.
A year after Chanko died, his wife was watching TV when she stumbled upon her husband’s case on TV and managed to recognize him even with the blurred face and muffled voice. Understandably, the family then sued the hospital for allowing the crew to film without the family’s permission.
As it violates the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the hospital had to pay the family $2.2 million in damages, even though the officials are still saying that they violated no rights. But they seem to be the minority here, as the Office for Civil Rights with the Department of Health and Human Services agreed with the beleaguered family.
Taking it even further, the Office is planning on making a new series of guidelines for allowing TV crews in hospitals around the country. It will definitely prove beneficial for patients everywhere, but it might spell the end for a number of certain hospital-based reality shows.
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