A male doctor live-streamed a patient’s gynecological procedure on a China video-sharing website without her knowledge, raising a wave of questions on medical ethics and privacy violations.
A Chinese netizen reported that he stumbled across a live-streaming room on Bilibili, China’s video-sharing website similar to YouTube, commonly called B site, on Jan. 15 and heard a female patient ask a female doctor who was present whether the male doctor was the one performing the surgery. The female doctor replied that he was an anesthesiologist. “The female patient expressed reluctance to be approached by the male doctor even though she didn’t know she would be secretly filmed.”
According to the netizen, the footage showed that after the female patient was anesthetized, the anesthesiologist live-streamed the gynecological surgery, and repeatedly filmed her private parts. The female doctor who was present did not stop the surreptitious filming.
The live broadcast was cut off only after the netizen reported what was happening to the B site customer service.
The incident caused outrage among netizens, and the video had nearly 7 million views on social media app Weibo. Some people scolded the doctor who filmed the incident, while others questioned how such a video could pass the scrutiny of the B site. “Is there no moral conscience left for the sake of internet traffic?”
According to the netizen’s statement, the male doctor’s filming could have been done in two ways. One is holding a cell phone pretending to chat but actually filming, so the patient isn’t aware, and another is to use a miniature filming device.
Qu Qingxue (a pseudonym), a hospital surgeon in Shandong Province, told The Epoch Times that it is doctors’ obligation to protect the privacy of their patients. “This kind of live surgery is a criminal act that completely disrespects patients, violates their privacy, and damages their reputation.”
Qu said that this happens not only because of the unethical doctors involved but also the tacit approval of their colleagues and the broadcast being allowed on the sharing platform.
Public security authorities in Rizhao city, Shandong Province said that the involved doctor, surnamed Li, was arrested on Jan. 18.
The hospital where Li worked is Rizhao Central Hospital, a comprehensive hospital that integrates medical treatment, teaching, scientific research, prevention, health care, and rehabilitation according to its official website.
Another netizen revealed that some accounts were newly set up for uploading to the B site public security surveillance videos that were suspected of being hacked from public venues such as schools, hospitals, and other places, according to Chinese media The Paper on Jan. 22.
“Those accounts are used for attracting people into their group that paid for entry, which is likely forming a black industry chain.”
“Besides the public video head being cracked [maliciously hacked], home video heads would also face risks of being cracked and leaked outside,” the netizen said.
In response to the incident, the B site announced on the same day, that they have taken down the relevant content and blocked the related account.
In China, the penalties for candid photos or films are practically negligible. According to article 42 of China’s Public Security Administration Punishment Law, anyone who peeps, secretly films, eavesdrops, or spreads private details about others shall be fined less than 500 yuan ($78) and/or detained for less than 10 days.
Lai Yiming, a Japanese media worker, told The Epoch Times that the nature of the Chinese Communist regime dictates that the police are not interested in fighting covert video crimes since the main job of the Chinese police is to maintain stability of the Communist regime.
“Chinese common public is the target of police surveillance and crackdown, so how can they [police] provide good service to those under their control?”
Kane Zhang contributed to this report.