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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Watchful Eye in Nursing Homes

By Jan Hoffman
The New York Times
Originally published November 18, 2013

Here are some excerpts:

In June, Mike DeWine, the Ohio state attorney general, announced that his office, with permission from families, had placed cameras in residents’ rooms in an unspecified number of state facilities. Mr. DeWine has moved to shut down at least one facility, in Zanesville, where, he said, cameras caught actions like an aide’s repeatedly leaving a stroke patient’s food by his incapacitated side.

The recordings can have an impact. Based on Ms. Racher’s videos, one aide pleaded guilty to abuse and neglect. The other appears to have fled the country. Similar scenes of abuse have been captured in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and other states by relatives who placed cameras in potted plants and radios, webcams and iPhones.

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But the secret monitoring of a resident raises ethical and legal questions. Families must balance fears for their relative’s safety against an undignified invasion of their privacy. They must also consider the privacy rights of others who pass through the room, including roommates and visitors.

Proponents of hidden cameras argue that expectations of privacy have fallen throughout society: nanny cams, webcams and security cameras are ubiquitous.

The entire article is here.
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