“Privacy and Monitoring Systems in a Mental Institution”

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Dr. R, the current superintendent of the Meller Valley Institute, also agreed to add television surveillance systems in the mental institution’s visiting rooms, hallways, and patient spaces. The key reasons for the installation are to make it easier to locate staff in the hospital, which is a difficulty, and to track a limited number of patients who are vulnerable to abuse. Patients are then notified of this development, but tourists are not. However, this raises concerns about the invasion of privacy, freedom, and philosophical reasoning. As a result, the following chapters go into great depth on these topics. The monitoring devices assist the mental institution greatly. Timely location of personnel to attend to the patients is vital. With the installation of the television monitoring device, tracing of these professionals becomes easy hence delay in treating patients is eradicated. Violent patients are observed in the Meller Valley Institute. Television monitoring devices patients who are violent, although small in number to be put in check. In communal wards, safety of the other non-violent patients is improvised. Reduction of unwelcomed intrusion is also made possible through these devices as the violent patients can be seen and immediately tamed.

The principle of autonomy features widely in this case. The principle holds that patients have the will to make decisions and act in their own understanding (Gordon & Gordon 32). The rights to make rational and informed decisions in respect to their agreement to surveillance it necessary. It is unethical especially to the visitors who are not informed of the availability of the television monitoring devices. The patients on the other hand are only aware of the monitoring devices but never in the first place participated in the decision making. They might as well be in disagreement with that form of surveillance. The doctor makes the decision to install the devices without considering the parties it affects. Involvement of the staff, patients and the visitors is necessary before installation is considered. The impact of the installation would therefore be accepted by all the affected individuals as consent was given in the first place. Achieving a balance between safety and privacy for patients is difficult (Gordon & Gordon 40). Dr. R‘s decision is a fair one as he targets to ensure the patients’ well-being however, the patients’ dignity and rights have to be put into consideration as well.

The conflict between autonomy and beneficence can be resolved. Beneficence refers to the principle that outlines the actions that serve the best interests of other people. In this case, beneficence is the Dr. R’s action of installing the television monitoring devices. Consent from the parties can be established in order to resolve the disagreements. The patients, staff and the visitors can be interviewed or inquiry made in order to find out their stand. In this way, the final decision made may be just and fair. Educating the patients and staff would also mend the differences as they would be able to understand the essence of monitoring the mental institution and its benefits. Confidentiality is an important remedy in solving the matter. The data collected by the staff should be confidential as this will establish the patients’ trust as well as the staff’s dignity (Gordon & Gordon 45). Confidentiality contract is a non-negotiable tenet of medical practice as it binds all the parties ranking from the visitors, staff and finally to the patients.

Work Cited

Gordon, Richard E, and Katherine K. Gordon. Systems of Treatment for the Mentally Ill: Filling the Gaps. New York: Grune & Stratton, 1980. Pr

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