Research Article| Volume 12, ISSUE 2, P90-94, April 1998

Ethical considerations of video monitoring psychiatric patients in seclusion and restraint

  • Douglas P. Olsen
    Address reprint requests to Douglas P. Olsen, RN, CS, PhD, Asst Prof., Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Program, Yale University School of Nursing, 100 Church Street South, PO Box 9740, New Haven, CT 06536-0740.
    Yale University School of Nursing, New Haven, CT, USA
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      Video monitoring of psychiatric patients in seclusion and restraint is reviewed from ethical and legal perspectives. Video monitoring invades privacy beyond patient expectations for routine hospital care and has the potential to harm personal dignity. The potential benefit of patient safety through monitoring must be balanced with the potential harm of monitoring to provide ethical justification. Because involuntary monitoring places patients in a position of extreme vulnerability to personal exposure, clinicians are obligated to protect these patients. A case illustrating problems with video monitoring along with recommendations for ethical use of video monitoring are presented in this article.


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