Patients sue Dutch hospital over reality show

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Three patients are suing Amsterdam’s Free University VU Medical Centre for filming them for a reality show at its emergency department without asking their permission.

The first episode of 24 hours: between life and death, aired on Thursday, prompted a public outcry. Patients’ organisations and other health bodies accused the programme of breaching the patients’ privacy and criticised the hospital for violating patient confidentiality.

The VU has since decided to withdraw its cooperation with the programme, urging Dutch television station RTL and the show’s producer, Eyeworks, to cancel all further episodes. Both have heeded the request. In a statement, the hospital said the programme had caused “concern among patients and staff and had sparked an intense social debate.”

The VU said it had agreed to cooperate with the programme to show how professional and thorough its care is. The hospital said that some patients had been in no state to give their permission before receiving treatment.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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