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Invasion of Privacy?

Modesett Williams - Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The use of cameras in nursing homes has been a widely-debated topic since Texas became the first state to legally support it in 2001. Many states have followed Texas' lead, while others have been more hesitant to do so. The main issue of concern is privacy, both that of the residents and that of the support staff. 


An article posted in Citizen's Voice offered the following story as a depiction of privacy issues associated with cameras in nursing homes. Last fall, a man named Stuart Sanderson lost his ability to speak and could only communicate with his family by means of lip-reading. A camera was placed in Mr. Sanderson's room so that he could speak to his family more often, and thus, enhance his quality of life. Mr. Sanderson had lived in the same nursing home for years, but the home's staff perceived the camera as a threat and removed it from his room. The staff instructed Mr. Sanderson to write a note defending his camera use, which his family argued was a "cruel hurdle for a man with limited mobility who selects each letter by pushing the back of his head against a switch". The note that Mr. Sanderson wrote exclaimed that he was note spying on anyone, and that the camera was just a means of communicating with his family.


The previous story illustrates a clear concern of nursing home staff: they do not want to be spied on. Proponents of camera use, however, claim that there should be nothing to hide. If nursing home employees are acting appropriately and within the scope of their authority, a camera could not capture anything detrimental to the staff. Issues of privacy are also a measure of concern for the nursing home residents themselves, particularly in shared-rooms. Consent and proper awareness will be the key issues here. Fair standards need to be implemented so that privacy is protected and abuse depressed.



The full article can be read here: www.citizensvoice.com/news/do-nursing-home-cameras-protect-or-intrude-1.1855568

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