Select Page

The Wagners - A Serious Injury Law Firm blog shares Personal Injury stories and opinions relevant to Halifax, Nova Scotia residents. Let us know what you think.

Smartphone recordings of doctors by patients: is this the new norm?

by | Thursday, September 21, 2017

Since the advent of the smartphone, more and more patients are attempting to record visits with their treating physicians.

Such recordings have the potential to improve patient health care, but also carry risks of which patients may not be aware.

Earlier this year, the Canadian Medical Protective Association (“CMPA”), an organization that provides legal defence and liability protection for physicians in Canada, cautioned doctors to prepare for patients recording their clinical encounters.

Recording a Doctor’s Treatment – The Potential Benefits and Concerns.

It is understandable why patients would want to keep a video or audio recording of their visit to a doctor. A recording of a doctor’s visit could reduce or eliminate confusion about a doctor’s advice for a patient’s treatment plan. As well, it could be a valuable resource for a patient to share with his or her family. Such transparency could potentially improve a patient’s adherence to a treatment plan, improving a patient’s overall health.

However, there are privacy concerns to be considered. Doctor’s offices are public places. As such, physicians understandably have concerns about a patient making a recording in a public area such as a waiting room or similar space. Such a recording could inadvertently capture personal information about other patients or staff. This could result in privacy breach allegations against the physician.

As well, a patient who records a clinical encounter without a doctor’s knowledge and consent could damage the doctor-patient relationship, as this may be viewed by the physician as a breach of trust and lack of confidence in his or her abilities as a physician.

CMPA Cautions Physicians

The CMPA has cautioned physicians about patients recording their treatment in a publication earlier this year titled “Smartphone recordings by patients: Be prepared, it’s happening” (

Physicians have been advised to consider preparing policies to address recordings by patients. As well, it is suggested that physicians proactively speak with patients about their intention to record the treatment provided in an effort to prevent allegations of privacy breaches against physicians and to prevent the breakdown of doctor-patient relationships.

Is this the New Norm?

Patients have legitimate concerns about their health and treatment, which has become much easier to document given the integration of the smartphone into peoples’ lives.

However, it is important for patients to recognize that there are valid concerns of privacy and consent about such recordings which presumably will only increase in frequency.

Notwithstanding the CMPA’s warning, it appears that smartphone recordings of doctors by patients could become the new norm for documenting medical treatment.

Do You Have a Claim?

I have read and understand the disclaimer.

call for a free consultation


Sam M
Sam M
16:11 19 Jan 18
Dyana was so kind to help me and respond to my query within 24h even though they do not pursue the specific class action I was looking for. She sent me few links by email. Thank you Dyana.
linda frausell
linda frausell
01:21 16 May 17
I have dealt with Wagner and Associates over the years and have received great advice,support and results . Their team is very respectful and show they care. You can trust them to take care of you and they always have your best interest in hand. I would definetly recommend them .
frank slaunwhite
frank slaunwhite
16:29 03 May 17
Ray Wagner and his legal team have been representing my niece and I for many years. They have been honest and quick to respond to all our needs in a professional manner. I highly recommend Wagners Law Firm and appreciate their caring approach.Thanks
Missy Day
Missy Day
12:03 06 Oct 16
I can't speak highly enough about the lawyers at Wagners who represented me for injuries from not one but two motor vehicle accidents. They were very professional and approachable. I was kept informed of all steps in the process and all of my inquiries were responded to and dealt with very quickly. The lawyers are knowledgeable and showed great empathy for what I was going through. I would recommend this firm to anyone!
Nicholas Gordon
Nicholas Gordon
11:30 06 Oct 16
I contacted Wagners about a motor vehicle accident.I was able to speak with someone right away. The staff were very pleasant and helpful.I received a response about pursuing a case the next day.I would highly recommend this firm.
See All Reviews