Quite so, Andy. On both side of the Atlantic, there seems to be a 'shortlist' of wholly erroneous, indeed pathetic, excuses which medics of limited knowledge, little reflection and even less candour make silly little whines about when they realise a patient insists on taking a recording, and the 'intrusive' excuse is just about the silliest.
It is only intrusive if the patient finds it intrusive. And a patient's recording should never intrude on another patient's consultation. If that were the case that would mean that the clinicians were arranging consultations such that other patients could overhear them, and that would be an infringement of the overheard patient's rights of privacy\confidentiality by the medics.
Conversely, there is nothing which a clinician can say or do to a patient behind closed doors, which a patient isn't entitled to 'shout from the rooftops' if he or she wants to so, thereby 'waiving' the right to confidentiality to the extent of the rooftop announcement. The doctor should have nothing to hide.
Their principal real fears are, of course, firstly that their lack clinical competence (under which heading I include the rudeness and arrogance of all too many of them) will be evidenced in patients' hands; and secondly, the ability to make inaccurate records about what has happened is severely curtailed i.e. lying about recording patients becomes very much more difficult.
I have a couple of instance of these arguments at work, this Bank holiday W\E.
The first is another USA doctor, this time writing purportedly to advise other doctors what to do about patients recording 'office visits' (= 'doctors appointments' over here). Frankly, 'what a twit.' He does the 'confidentiality' claptrap, and then, bold as brass, gets to the real point:
" Recording a medical discussion via video or audio … puts you and your office at significant risk."
Oh does it now, David Troxel, MD? Apart from the exposure of medical negligence\malpractice, what risk would that be?
Here's the link:
And incidentally in the majority American states it is expressly NOT illegal to record covertly.
The other example, is one I have mentioned before, and it relates to Freedom of Information requests, the DWP and Atos. Back in 2010, a requester challenged the DWP to find grounds on which they could declare the taking of a covert recording of an Atos benefits medical illegal.
The DWP failed because it is not illegal, of course, - but they came up with a version of the confidentiality\intrusion excuse! A recording claimant might record another claimant's confidential 'information', they said, which wouldn't be 'acceptable'.
Now, as you may well know, the rules are supposed to have changed last year – a claimant is now supposed to be able to require Atos to take (and provide a copy of) a recording of any work capability assessment. So co-conspirator Jim O asked them earlier this year whether it would be 'acceptable' to the DWP that Atos should arrange benefits medicals such that they could be overheard, or indeed be recorded, by a claimant in another session. Oh no, of course not! - came the eventual but emphatic reply, that should indeed not happen. So the intrusion\confidentiality excuse evaporates into the thin air of ignorance whence it came.