Commercial Filming of Patients in the Emergency Department

Reaffirmed January 2021

Revised June 2015 with current title

Revised February 2009

Originally approved February 2002 titled "Filming in the Emergency Department"


The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) believes that the commercial filming of patients or staff may be done only if patients and staff give fully informed consent prior to filming.

Because commercial filming cannot benefit a patient medically and may compromise both their privacy and confidentiality, filming should not commence unless and until a patient with full unencumbered decision making capacity can explicitly consent or, if institutional policies permit surrogate consent for commercial filming, that consent is given. Patients who do consent should have the right to rescind their consent up until a reasonable time before broadcast to the public.

Hospitals should develop and implement policies to regulate commercial filming that are approved by hospital governing bodies. Policies for filming should be approved by hospital ethics committees (or their representatives), which should ideally include physicians and community members. Departmental leaders should also be required to approve requests for such activities.

[ Feedback → ]