Is it legal to secretly record doctor’s appointments?


Is it legal to record your doctor’s appointment without your doctor knowing (Intro Music) Hey guys, I’m Izzy and today we’re doing a very interesting video I’m really excited about it, and I’ve been wanting to film this for a long time I’ll be talking about whether or not it’s actually legal to record your doctor’s appointments Depending on if if you actually have consent or if you don’t have consent If you like this video, please give it a thumbs up And if you want to see more videos like this, you can press subscribe And actually if you really want to you can press that little Bell notification next to the subscribe button and you’ll actually get notified whenever I post. Now, the first question. Is it legal to record your doctor’s appointments with your doctor’s consent? Yes, obvious answer. Yes, if your doctor lets you, you 100% can record your doctor’s appointment But now to the more juicy question. Is it legal to record your doctor’s appointment without your doctor knowing? It depends on the state, so 39 out of 50 states, and keep in mind, I’m only talking about the US. I don’t know the rules for other countries So if you guys did want that let me know in the comments and I might do a video on that So 39 out of the 50 states have something called the single party consent rule it means, let’s say two people are having a conversation and you’re one of them and you want to record the conversation. You are legally allowed to record the conversation without the other person knowing and so you can actually record your doctor’s appointments without your doctor knowing (laughter). But what’s so interesting is that if you decide to ask your doctor Which I typically do just I think it’s like more of like the right thing to do. But of course like sometimes Legally not you legally don’t have to ask so, you know, you don’t always do it and if you ask and they say no You’re still legally allowed to record the doctor’s appointment and the thing is is that the doctor will just decide whether or not to terminate the appointment or to continue on with you recording. To make that even more clear. I’m just going to read something from this article It’s just a sentence — or two sentences: “in single party jurisdictions or most of the United States if a patient asks to record a clinical encounter and the clinician refuses the patient can proceed to record the encounter anyway The clinician must then choose to continue or terminate the encounter.” 11 states though throughout the US do require that both parties know that you’re recording. It’s called the all party consent rule These states are California, Florida Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon Pennsylvania and Washington, what an interesting group of states? Yeah Wow So but those states you do in fact have to ask and if you don’t ask and you record, it’s actually a felony now It’s important to say that if you legally record your appointment Whether that be in one of the 39 states or you do it without telling them or in the 11 states where you do it with asking HIPAA rules do not apply. So that’s just important to say there are a lot of benefits to recording your appointments I know that a lot of times I don’t remember everything that happens in the appointment or one of my parents wanted to come and they couldn’t make it Or I just didn’t bring a notepad even if I usually do but sometimes I forget I just I do find it very helpful then again. I want to let you know that I do ask typically Sometimes hospitals don’t allow it. But if you’re in those 39 states where you don’t have to ask for permission, It’s still legal to record. So even if it’s against the hospital’s policy, it’s not illegal. Anyway, I hope that this video was helpful I do think it’s important to record your doctors appointments if you feel like you can benefit from it that shouldn’t be something that you should hesitate to ask or to not ask if you’re in one of the 39 states that allows it and It’ll just — could really just help you honestly, so thanks so much for watching and I will see you on the next video. Bye!

29 Replies to “Is it legal to secretly record doctor’s appointments?”

  1. Our family has been talking about this, because I have short term memory loss. Since we didn't know the true legality of it and some don't consent to recording, I just started bringing someone.

  2. Thank you for making these videos, Izzy!! It’s helped me so much in my search for a diagnosis, I cannot thank you enough. I’ve always thought about recording my appointments, but didn’t know if it would be okay. I’m so glad you made a video about this. Thank you again for all you do and for being open about your health etcetera. Sending you lots of love from the Netherlands!!

  3. I hadn't thought of recording appointments. What a brilliant idea because it's definitely tough to remember all important details. Thank you for the idea.

    On a different subject regarding recordings, I also highly recommend recoding interactions if you happen to have emotionally abusive people in your life (like narcissists). Without sharing the recordings or smearing the person, it gives YOU the peace of mind to hear confirmed that you do remember things just as they happened, you didn't overreact or do anything wrong and that you're being scapegoated or gaslit. The truth will set you free.

  4. It should NOT be illegal to record your doctors appointments no matter what state you are in. This is something that the Disability Community needs to be fighting to change. The reason that recording is a form of Accommodation and Accessibility. While someone can write down notes someone else cannot do that. Their only way to take down notes is to record them and go back to listen to them. Just as we all know that doctors are human and can forget things. Lets say your doctor said he was going to start you on a new medication and he says he is going to send the script in to the pharmacy. Lets say he forgets and you go to the pharmacy and the script is not there. You can go back to him mentioning about the script and you need to take a pill twice a day but he only put it in for one time a day. This could hurt you or if you had a recording you could go back to that point where the recording device recorded the word proscription or script and listen to what the doctor said. Things in your doctors notes can be forgotten to be put in them from what your doctor dictated or could be backwards etc.

  5. There is an app that is free called abridged. It’s completely confidential and it is created by a cardiologist. What it does it records the appointment and it has highlights so it can be pointed out faster to a person or you can send it to someone.

  6. I live in Texas(legal to record), and I've had dr's tell me, when I've asked them if I can record the visit, that it's illegal… now, these particular visits aren't part of my EDS "specialists" who I really need to pay attention to, these are more like, the gynecologist or orthopedic surgeon (whom I probably won't see again). But there was still a ton of info that was discussed in one of my appointments that I would have liked to have been able to have a transcript of(love the Abridged app, even though it misspells and misinterprets words in the transcript). For other dr's, I just turn my app on, stick my phone in my purse, and just record without saying anything.

  7. Just and FYI for you Izzy and your viewers that there is a free medical app that I use and it is called “Abridge” it was invented by a cardiologist. I have yet to have had a Dr refuse me recording thru this app since it is a medical app. You record the conversation and after the conversation it will highlight key medical terms. It will also allow you to forward the conversation to other doctors or even print it out. This is to good on so many levels!! Good for nanny who take their charge kids to dr or dentist appts. Good for people who have caregivers take their elderly parents to dr appts or teens that take themselves to dr appts etc and then when parents or the person in charge asks how the appt went, they can listen for themselves or if it was yourself you have notes to look back on if you had a question like “what did he say to do again” etc… I love this app because I also feel the doctors are on their best behavior since they know they are being recorded!!! I always ask them and say I have trouble remembering and also if there is information my other Drs need I can just forward it to them. I always carry a printout on what the app is so I suggest to do that it helps it not being awkward! Check it out!
    The “Frey Life” uses it too as well as a few other chronically ill warriors! ❌⭕️♥️

  8. The answer for the UK:
    Patients have the right to record their consultations with doctors. They can even record a consultation without a doctor’s consent, because the information they are recording is personal to them and is thus exempt from the data protection principles in the Data Protection Act. Therefore a doctor cannot decline a patient’s request to record their consultation.

  9. Thank you sharing this! I had no idea and I’ve actually recorded my dr before without them knowing. Lol whoops!!

  10. I wish I was in the state where I could record. Pennsyltucky. Dont have the greatest doctors here. I have to find a patient advocate. My docs never actually tell me my diag, they always say, I believe or we are leaning at this. Know anything about patient advocates?

  11. Am I the only one who thinks it might assist in getting questions answered in greater detail and with a less rushed feel, perhaps even with more kindness and empathy than is typically shown? Of course, I’m referring to those appts where you’ve asked permission and they agree. But if you live in a state where it’s legal, and you really need to remember what is said, maybe just beginning the recording before asking and allowing it to continue regardless would be best, just in case. Ideally a dr wouldn’t refuse a reasonable request to record as the info being discussed pertains to our own medical health.

  12. I'm in PA. I have asked to record the appt before but I got to say a lot of doctors get upset about it. I guess they may know they aren't always right. They are human so they make mistakes and no one wants to be sued. They put a lot of effort to be a doctor and don't want to ruin it over one mishap.

    With that being said if you ask a doctor and they say yes, well at least you know you got a doctor that is trying to put your health care first. That is half the battle. The other half is having a doctor that really understands what is going on with you and if there is really anything that can be done to better you.

  13. This is actually really interesting, and concerning/disturbing. I live in one of the states in which it's not allowed to record. I've always noticed the signs saying "no cameras" and thought, "What do they have to hide?" I'm actually really disturbed by this, because what if someone sues them; they're not allowed to have proof? If we're not allowed to film or record, then the hospital/medical staff can literally do anything they want, and if they commit malpractice, there's no proof of it….you legally aren't allowed to aquire proof, so how will you have any proof if you sue them? This is concerning. I don't like that at all. That actually raises a huge red flag for me…what is it that hospitals want to hide so bad? Why would it matter if people filmed them, if they're not doing anything wrong? I'm kind of disturbed that I live in one of the states that doesn't allow it, honestly. That's not good at all.

  14. I live in NY like you do, so now I know it is legal to record my doctors' appointments. I never thought to do that, but it could be helpful definitely. Sometimes when I see a doctor, I have a lot of anxiety and I don't "hear" everything that is said. It would be worthwhile to go home and listen to it all again when I'm in a more relaxed state so I can make sure I didn't miss anything. This was interesting. It's a subject I haven't heard much about.

  15. I got the app Abridge, I can’t wait to give it a try. I get so much info I can’t remember everything! I’m in Ohio. I think it’s crazy that their are places you have to ask, your paying that doctor for their services…

  16. Thanks, Izzy! Great topic. Does the one-party consent apply to both audio and visual recordings (i.e., video recording) or just audio recordings in NY? I’m curious about the ‘reasonable expectation of privacy’ clause that applies specifically to video recording in NY and whether or not a doctor could argue that HIPAA or a private office setting requiring check-in sets the reasonable expectation of privacy that would prevent one-party video recording?

  17. I was under the impression in michigan you do not need permission and 1 person out of 3 needs to consent. You can be the 1 so as long as you are also speaking its fine.

  18. I thought about that too to do this because of these stupid answers doctors give me sometimes that nobody would believe me after. 😏

  19. What about recording the consultation without the doctor noticing? I mean, I remember recording a conversation with my mom and she never noticed that I was recording it.

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