Patient protection group wants video cameras in nursing homes
September 14, 1999
Web posted at: 4:44 p.m. EDT (2044 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Claiming "epidemic levels" of mistreatment in nursing homes, the Coalition to Protect America's Elders (CPAE) Tuesday called for laws to allow video cameras in patients' rooms.
CPAE executive director Barbara Hengstebeck said, "Hopefully, these cameras will deter and prevent the tragedies that are becoming part of a daily body count, or at least provide evidence to bring those responsible to justice."
Lisa Keegan, vice president of the American Health Care Association, disagreed in a written statement.
"Twenty-four hour video surveillance will not help seniors and families feel secure. In fact, it's hard to imagine a greater invasion of privacy or dignity. The chief purpose of surveillance would not, as proponents claim, be to protect nursing home residents, but to facilitate intelligence-gathering for potential litigation," Keegan wrote.
The AHCA claims that the CPAE is a front for a trial attorney "bent on casting the widest possible referral net for his nursing home litigation business." AHCA represents nursing home and assisted-living providers.
Speaking at the Washington CPAE news conference was Gale Sweeney, who said her mother was a victim of nursing home abuse.
After repeated complaints from her mother, Sweeney put a camera in her room. As she watched the video, Sweeney became very upset at the treatment her mother received. When Sweeney showed the video to nursing home administrators, she said, "They were very upset, not over the treatment of my mother, but over the video camera being in the room."
Sweeney was asked to remove the camera. She said, "There was no way I could remove the camera after what I saw."
Elder care: Making the right choice
August 23, 1999
Baby boomers feeling strain of caring for older parents
July 31, 1998
Michigan deals with its nursing home abuses
July 28, 1998
Report: Abuse common in California nursing homes
July 27, 1998
American Health Care Association
The National Citizens' Coalition for Nursing Home Reform
American Association of Retired Persons
Assisted Living Federation of America
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
LATEST HEALTH STORIES:
China SARS numbers pass 5,000
Report: Form of HIV in humans by 1940
Fewer infections for back-sleeping babies
Pneumonia vaccine may help heart, too