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The Tale of Two Hospitals

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The new season of "NY Med" looks at two hospitals in two cities 12 miles apart: Newark's University Hospital and New-York Presbyterian in Manhattan. Terence Wrong, executive producer of the ABC show "NY Med," and series producer Aysu Grodowski talk about what the series tells us about these two very different emergency rooms.

Guests:

Terence Wrong

Comments [9]

Kenneth Chanko from New York, NY

Are You Not Entertained...?

There is a dark side to this business (and, make no mistake, it is a business) that many are not aware of. Until it happens to you or someone you know, it will probably remain below the radar.

Case in point: Filming by the "NY Med" crew of a dying man in the NY-Presbyterian ER/OR without his permission and without the permission or knowledge of his family. On top of that: A doctor being surreptitiously miked and the family’s conversation with that doctor, who brought them the awful news of their loved one's death inside a closed-door consultation room, being audio-recorded - also without the family's knowledge or consent.

That's what happened to my late father at NY-Presbyterian while "NY Med" had set up its cameras, awaiting the requisite "trauma." To his survivors, it's pretty clear how problematic the intersection of this sort of reality TV entertainment and hospital patient privacy is. The camera was on my father the moment he died; he was conscious minutes earlier and was heard speaking to the nurses and doctors, at one point asking: "Does my family know?" We only found out about all this 16 months later when that particular "NY Med" episode aired.

If you find this hard to believe, here's a link to an article that ran in the London Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297562/NY-Meds-aired-Korean-War-veteran-Mark-Chankos-death-permission-familys-million-dollar-lawsuit-claims.html The Courthouse News Service appropriately headlined their piece on it: "How Low Can a TV Show Go?" http://www.courthousenews.com/2013/03/22/55977.htm

In addition to the disturbing idea of doctors and staff "performing" for the cameras, what about: Nurses not being available where and when needed because they’re off trying to “get on camera”? What about doctors being “advised” by the hospital to sign-on to be a part of “the show” (believing their careers might “stall” if they don’t)? What about patients who don’t sign on being left to wonder if, despite assurances, they will get the same level of care and attention as the patient down the hall who did sign up to be on the show? These concerns are not speculative. My brother is a NY hospitalist and my wife is a NY-based Medical Ethicist.

I, among others, are working to make sure folks will be reading and hearing more about ethically compromised commercial enterprises such as "NY Med" in the coming weeks.

Lastly, I wish I had known about this Brian Lehrer Show segment in advance. I would've called in to ask Mr. Wrong this question, among others: "Did it make for more compelling TV - and did you and ABC getting a nice little primetime network ratings bump - when my father expired on-air...?"

Jul. 03 2014 12:49 PM

I am a retired health care worker, having spent 20 years in NY hospitals, including some time helping with cardiac imaging in ER procedures. NO senior heart surgeon, such as Dr.Oz, would ever show up in an ER, except, perhaps, to support a relative. If there were a need for a cardiac surgery consult it would be done by a fellow, meaning a Dr. (of any gender) who is in advanced cardiac surgical training. So I know the show is scripted.

Jun. 27 2014 11:10 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I hate "reality" shows. Why can't we have variety shows instead once again as in the old days? Reality sucks! I want to see happy things, good acts, like the old Ed Sullivan show. Sick of all this blood and gore - except in video games. But I know that video games have no connection to reality.

Jun. 26 2014 11:42 AM
Bob from Westchester

Similar to Boston, NYPD cops who were shot used to insist on going to the Bellevue ER, even if the shooting occurred outside Manhattan, because of experience at Bellevue in dealing with gunshot wounds.

Jun. 26 2014 11:42 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I hate "reality" shows. Why can't we have variety shows instead once again as in the old days? Reality sucks! I want to see happy things, good acts, like the old Ed Sullivan show. Sick of all this blood and gore - except in video games. But I know that video games have no connection to reality.

Jun. 26 2014 11:41 AM
Chriss from Montclair, NJ

Just wanted to say thank you for this show. I spent some time in a hospital after watching the Hopkins series, and I thought of the show often.

Oddly, after my time in the hospital, I was NOT able to watch the next series because it felt too familiar.

I eventually did. And cannot wait for tonight.

THANK YOU!!!

Jun. 26 2014 11:33 AM
Pat from Bronx

Why go 12 miles to a different state when you can go 12 miles north and compare Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx?

Jun. 26 2014 11:28 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

Thanks for ruining my day with that clip of the mother crying over her critically injured son.

Jun. 26 2014 11:27 AM

Let's look at St. Vincent's Hospital ER -
Oh Snap! The government regulated it out of business.

Jun. 26 2014 10:33 AM

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