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Ethical considerations around the implementation of telecare technologies

Eccles, Andrew (2010) Ethical considerations around the implementation of telecare technologies. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 28 (1-2). pp. 44-59. ISSN 1522-8835

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Abstract

The use of assistive technology in social care, through a program of telecare, has become a prominent feature of policy development in some advanced industrial societies. This article looks at developments in Scotland, where ambitious targets for the application of telecare technologies are underway. The focus here is on telecare for older people. The paper starts by examining the discourse around demographic change and fiscal pressures to explore an increased use of technology. The paper then examines ethical issues raised by this telecare program and argues that the frameworks in use, while important, are limited in scope. It thus considers wider ethical frames of reference and looks at policy imperatives-such as interprofessional working and a performance driven culture-that may make ethical considerations more difficult to realize in practice.