Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Anklet with GPS for forensic use

Today, I listened to a lecture about forensic mental health in the UK.

In the lecture, the professor referred to an item to administer the inpatients with mental disorders. It is an anklet with GPS. When a patient is released to outside of a secure hospital, the staffs attach this anklet to him. If he tries to escape from the observation of the hospital, the anklet sends an alert to a security company. So he is tracked to avoid accidents or crimes. This anklet also sends an alert when he gets rid of it.

This is an item of watching. One of the reasons for introducing this system was a case of recidivism of a patient who had escaped from the hospital.

These kinds of items cause a discussion regarding human rights. Is it ethical to keep watching on the patients who are potentially dangerous?

The professor emphasized that this device enabled to release the patients more frequently compared with the past. If there were no method to track the patients, we would hardly release them without an escort. Human resource is limited. It may result in prolonged term of hospitalization.

Ethical problem is quite important matter. However, we have to think about what is the most beneficial for the patients totally.

Todays lecture was very informative. I am thankful.

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