Further thoughts on Bereaved parents are not ratings fodder

This is a good angry response to the news that parents were being filmed without informed consent.

The mealy mouthed defence by the hospital and lack of informed consent cannot be allowed to go unchallenged.

“We took the decision to participate in the documentary as a direct result of feedback from women who had been through stillbirth and said there was not enough information on this difficult but important issue – that it is seen as a taboo subject.”

No, no, no. I cannot believe that bereaved parents would think the way to tackle taboos is to have people filmed in this way. This is monstrous and compounds an already harrowing experience.  I’m not sure how ‘not enough information’ has been interpreted as ‘film vulnerable people going through a harrowing experience without their informed consent’.

“Dr Brocklesby also claimed the majority of pregnant women who had suffered a miscarriage would consent to being part of the film with the “right approach”.”

Based on what exactly? ‘Would’? What is the evidence base for that ridiculous assumption.

“Staff are not advised to say there’s cameras in rooms but if patients mention the notice then they will happily talk about it.

“I think there’s adequate notice. It’s flagged up – there are notices to suggest filming is taking place.”

They were not advised to mention something so significant. We’re not talking about giving unknowing consent to being filmed at a concert but someone at the worst possible moment of their life.

“The footage is automatically deleted if the couples do not consent to being viewed by TV production staff.”

That’s not what the sign says.

“Because of the sensitivity of the subject, we established a robust consent process with True Vision to safeguard women who visit Clinic 23. No footage taken by the cameras is ever viewed by anyone without express consent of the patient, and it is automatically deleted after three days. “

None of this suggests a robust consent process at all. This is from the Data Protection Act and an excerpt from a university data protection policy.

In many cases consent from the individuals will need to be obtained in order to process (capture and use) the images fairly and lawfully. Consent must be “freely given, specific
and informed”. It is important to keep a record of the individuals’ consent.

Where…invites film crews to take still and moving images of news events for journalistic purposes, this is legitimate as long as the individuals involved in the event are fully informed in advance and given the opportunity to opt out of the picture, where appropriate

I’m not convinced that any of the parties here can confidently assert that they have met the tests of the Data Protection Act.

Pain and grief is an infinite resource but it is not for others to mine.

Pine cones and Study Days

Earlier today I was speechless with amazement at the news that our charity Our Angels’ second annual conference for midwives and student midwives, this year in partnership with the University of York Student Midwifery Society, had sold out in just 18 hours. This was an amazing outcome, and one which shows only too clearly how maternity professionals and students are crying out for better training and education in this aspect of their role.

Having recovered the power of speech, I lost it again for completely different reasons a few hours later.

Today it has been reported in the news that the Rosie Maternity Hospital at Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge has been working with a TV production company, True Vision on a documentary for Channel 4 about stillbirth.

Rosie Maternity Hospital

Now you’d think, as someone who speaks out loudly and often about the need to raise awareness of stillbirth, that I’d be ecstatic about…

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