Expert advice

Legal advice: should I appear in a video for a wound care company?

Promoting one company's products over another's could be seen as unethical, says Marc Cornock.
Video shoot

Question: I have been asked to participate in a video for a wound care company which supplies my clinical area. Is this ethical?

It has been a long-standing principle that nurses, midwives, and other health care workers should uphold their own professional reputation as well as the reputation of their profession as a whole.

In line with the Nursing and Midwifery Council Code, this means not being seen to do anything that could harm your professional reputation or the reputation of the profession to which you belong.

If the video is instructional such as demonstrating to other nurses or patients how to apply a specific form of dressing without promoting a specific product there would appear to be no conflict with your duty to uphold your own and your professions reputation.

You would not be using your status as a

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Question: I have been asked to participate in a video for a wound care company which supplies my clinical area. Is this ethical?

Video shoot

It has been a long-standing principle that nurses, midwives, and other health care workers should uphold their own professional reputation as well as the reputation of their profession as a whole.

In line with the Nursing and Midwifery Council Code, this means not being seen to do anything that could harm your professional reputation or the reputation of the profession to which you belong.

If the video is instructional – such as demonstrating to other nurses or patients how to apply a specific form of dressing without promoting a specific product – there would appear to be no conflict with your duty to uphold your own and your profession’s reputation.

You would not be using your status as a registered nurse or midwife to promote one company’s products over another’s.

But if the video is a promotional one for the company, and your role is to actively endorse the products, this could be seen as unethical. It is implying that this company’s products are either superior or more suited to a particular task than others.

Think about the following:
  • Do you have any control over the content of the video?
  • Do you have the right to veto any aspects of the content?
  • Can you make changes based on clinical accuracy?
  • Who is the video intended for?
  • Does the video promote the company’s products over those from rival companies?
  • Is there any financial gain for you or your clinical area, either directly or indirectly in the form of a discount on buying their products in the future?

If you have any doubts after reflecting on these questions, it may be best to decline to be involved in the making of the video.


Marc Cornock (@AcademicLawyer2) is a qualified nurse, academic lawyer and senior lecturer at the Open University

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