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Is it ethical to use webscams to deter nursing home negligence?

There is a controversy stirring in Wyoming and across the country. It has to do with webcams, more specifically, using them to deter nursing home negligence by installing them in residents' rooms to monitor goings on. A woman in another state did this when she was concerned about the quality of care her mother was receiving.

The woman's 75-year-old mother had a foot infection. Her daughter was troubled that it didn't seem to be getting better. In fact, it didn't appear that her mother was receiving any type of treatment at all. The woman wanted to see what was happening regarding her mother's care while she was not there, so she installed a webcam in her room.

Frustration soon set in. The woman reportedly realized that nursing home workers were turning the camera out of view of her mother whenever they entered the room to care for her. The woman also said the employees were unplugging the device, so she used bolts to adhere the camera to furniture, then filed a complaint.

The state health department ruled that the woman was permitted to keep the camera running in her mother's room and could focus the view on her bed. Some people oppose this type of monitoring, saying it invades personal privacy, as patients are often filmed while having their undergarments changed, while being sponge bathed or during other personal moments, such as having private conversations with loved ones, ministers or others. Then too, many say consent to install a camera cannot be given by a patient if he or she is suffering from dementia. Anyone in Wyoming who is facing a nursing home negligence problems, whether connected to webcam use or not, may seek support from an experienced personal injury attorney.

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