Telecare - the ethical debate
What is the video about?
Telecare offers a range of benefits for individual users, including safety and independence. However telecare also has the potential to threaten users’ privacy, autonomy and control and could leave them socially isolated. The film explains some of these ethical concerns and offers practical advice about overcoming them and ensuring service users gain the maximum benefit offered by telecare technology.
Messages for practice
- Telecare offers potential benefits for individual users, including safety and independence. However telecare also has the potential to threaten individual users’ privacy, autonomy and control.
- Social care and health professionals need to consider a range of ethical issues when supporting an individual in deciding whether to use telecare. These issues need to be considered not only before but also during and after the installation of a telecare service.
- Commissioners must ensure that people who are self-funders or personal budget holders have access to relevant information so they can decide what type of telecare service would best suit their needs.
- Service providers must have robust systems and agreements in place for the collection, storage and sharing of data.
- Equipment manufacturers are urged to improve the sophistication of technology to reduce the stigmatising effect of certain types of telecare (e.g. personal alarms). Manufacturers are also urged to improve flexibility in the means of communication between monitoring centres and telecare users.
Who will find this useful?
Social care and health professionals involved in the commissioning and provision of support services. It is also relevant to telecare providers and to individuals considering whether to use telecare to meet their own support needs.