Health professionals must address clients recording of discussions

Health professionals need to have clear guidelines about whether clients can record their discussions, with those either posted in the waiting room or discussed at the beginning of the appointment, says Lonny Rosen.

“Some people pretty much live on social media and use it to document everything that happens to them, so they might think it is OK to record their meetings with a health professional without first asking,” says Rosen.

“For doctors and others, laying the ground rules with clients before they record anything is appropriate and it’s more practical and effective than trying to ban recordings altogether,” he tells

Rosen says that clients may have valid reasons for wanting to record these discussions, such as having an accurate account of the health professional’s advice, or the desire to share this information with a family member.

“Health professionals should discuss with the client why they want to record their talk, which may help to identify a solution,” he says.

Rosen says one compromise would be to allow the taping of just a brief recap at the conclusion of the session, rather than the entire encounter.

If patients choose to surreptitiously record these discussions, that can backfire on them, Rosen says, citing a 2017 Ontario Superior Court of Justice case.

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