The Patient and the Photographer
October 6, 2009 § 1 Comment
Patients are people – people with problems. They are often in pain and usually apprehensive. To them, the medical photographer is someone who, once more, submits them to an institutional routine. He takes their pictures, with part or all of their clothing removed, to show what is usually an embarrassing condition or deformity. Again, indispensable as photography is in the teaching and advancing of medicine, it does not present to the patient the same direct benefit as a radiograph or a blood test.
H. Lou Gibson, Medical photography; clinical-ultraviolet-infrared (1973). (photo credit)
Lou Gibson wrote these words when I was embarking on my career as a medical photographer.
They are as true today as then.
Perhaps some of the non photographic professionals taking clinical photographs need to consider what they mean, before invading the patients rights to privacy and sensitivity.