Secret filming of suspected abusers is urged
Wednesday 29 September 1999
A working group of consultant paediatricians in the north of England has concluded that covert video surveillance is necessary, safe, legal and ethical when operated under strict controls. Its main aim is to detect deliberate smothering of children by parents, which is difficult to distinguish from accidental smothering or breathing difficulties in the child.
Since it was introduced in Britain in 1983, covert video surveillance has provoked fierce opposition from parents and child-care professionals, on the basis that it involves a breach of trust between doctor and patient.
But, writing in Archives of Disease in Childhood, Dr Neela Shabde, of the Northern Specialist Advisory Committee in Paediatrics, and Professor Alan Craft, of the Institute of Child Health, Newcastle upon Tyne, point out that under the Children Act 1989, courts may not remove children from their parents unless an "appreciable level of risk" is shown to exist. And the secret filming of children with their parents in hospital can provide the evidence necessary to prevent a child from being returned to abusive parents or, conversely, to stop children and parents being separated needlessly.
Covert video surveillance poses no more threat to civil liberties than any other child-protection procedure, they state. But they warn that using it simply to obtain a criminal conviction is never justifiable; and health trusts that do not follow a rigorous protocol for its use risk being accused of breaching confidentiality by parents and carers.
"Covert video surveillance is ethical if it is necessary to protect the interests of a child and if the child is at serious risk of abuse," they write.
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Ball pool for adults opens in London
Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A PA is required to join a leading provider of...