Older adults, perhaps more than any other group of adults, are likely to experience some encroachment on their privacy, particularly in the context of health care delivery and community supports.

As more new technologies such as implanted microchips and monitoring/ surveillance devices develop, some older adults such as nursing home residents and persons with Alzheimer's disease or dementia, are likely to experience types of intrusions on their privacy that people would not have considered possible 15 or 20 years ago.

Are these technologies a boon or a bane? What are the legal and ethical considerations?

What are the appropriate boundaries of technology and the people who use it?

Click here for a table of privacy laws for the public, private and health sectors.

 

Resources

Minuk, L. (2006). Why Privacy Still Matters: The Case Against Prophylactic Video Surveillance in For-Profit Long-Term Care Homes. Vol. 32 Queen's Law Journal, 224 - 277

Canadian Privacy Law Blog:

FDA approves injecting ID chips in patients ZDNet October 13, 2004.

Description: This article describes the American FDA's approval of computer chips, which are about the size of a grain of rice, designed to be injected into the fatty tissue of the arm. The article notes" Using a special scanner, doctors and other hospital staff can fetch information from the chips, such as the patient's identity, their blood type and the details of their condition, in order to speed treatment.

...The company is targeting the devices at patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other conditions requiring complex treatment."