Film 12 days: no breach of medical secrecy by filming psychiatric care review hearings without consent – Civil

The film 12 days, by photographer and documentary filmmaker Raymond Depardon, was shot in the premises of Le Vinatier hospital in Lyon in 2016. The author had received permission to plant his camera within the courtroom of the establishment in order to film the debates before the judge of freedoms and detention for the control of the legality of the measures of psychiatric care without consent. The protagonists of these hearings, patients included, were filmed without facial blurring but without their names ever being mentioned.

One of the patients filmed on the occasion of this film had, some time after its release, initiated full litigation proceedings against the hospital establishment. At first instance, the request had been rejected by the Administrative Court of Lyon as being brought before an incompetent court. On appeal, the Administrative Court of Appeal of Lyon canceled this decision and accepted jurisdiction. It nevertheless rejected the claims for compensation submitted by the patient.

Filming carried out in respect of the patient’s wishes

The patient sought liability for fault of the hospital centre. He maintained that the director of the hospital had committed such a fault by authorizing that sequences be filmed and broadcast and by not ensuring that his anonymity was preserved, nor that medical secrecy was not violated on the occasion of the documentary thus produced. To its arguments, the Administrative Court of Appeal replied that “the director of the hospital center did not authorize […] to make the documentary on the premises of the hospital, only subject to obtaining the individual authorizations of each person to be filmed, photographed or interviewed, as well as the absence of mention of their name, except with the express authorization of the interested parties “. She thus considered that “the hospital has taken sufficient measures to ensure that his anonymity is preserved, in accordance with his wishes” because the patient himself had given his express written authorization to be filmed for the documentary and to the…

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