Of patients with the COVID-19 monitored by cameras at the jewish Hospital

Des patients atteints de la COVID-19 surveillés par des caméras à l’Hôpital juif

Photo: Valérian Mazataud The Duty
The presence of cameras to monitor the patients at the jewish general Hospital of Montreal was potentially an offence to the dignity and the personal secret, writes the provincial group of users committees.

The jewish Hospital of Montreal has installed, in the last few days, cameras in the rooms of patients in the intensive care, in direct link with the crisis of the COVID-19.

The news was confirmed to the Duty by the institution itself. “The jewish general Hospital installs cameras in anticipation of two new intensive care units. “

The cameras are officially put in place ” to better monitor patients affected by the pandemic “.

The dashboard on the evolution of the coronavirus in Quebec and in Canada

Thus, even without the presence of a nurse in the rooms, it becomes possible to carry out a surveillance. “These cameras linked to a central console that will enable us to monitor even better the patients with the COVID-19 “, explains Carl Thériault, the communications department of the jewish general Hospital.

A source of the Duty that works in one of these emergency units, and whose anonymity must be preserved, says, ” these measures are in preparation in cases where the staff falls ill. For example, a nurse could monitor several patients at a distance, the screens “. The system even has the ability to record images over a long period.

These cameras have been installed in the areas where we care for patients with the COVID-19.

The jewish Hospital was one of the first hospitals montreal to be placed on the front line in the wake of the pandemic.

The communications services of the hospital have clarified the Duty that ” this practice [installing cameras] is also used in some american hospitals “. Which ? asked about The Duty. “This practice has been ongoing at the Cleveland Clinic,” says one, while specifying ignore ” what is done elsewhere in Quebec.”


In 2018, the Cleveland Clinic was found in the heart of a media whirlwind because an illegal surveillance by cameras had been unmasked.

The staff of the units referred to by the installation of these cameras at the jewish Hospital has received confirmation of this without having been consulted in advance.

“We received confirmation from the management of the hospital once the cameras have been installed in the rooms of intensive care “, confirms the Duty Hubert Forcier, the head of communications of the union, the FSSS-CSN.

The cameras are installed in the wings, where the people are suffering from the COVID-19. Fortunately, observes the union, these are places ” where the protective equipment is at the rendez-vous “. But in these times where numbers are scarce, “is that this is the right way to supplement the lack of staff” ? In other words, they demand the FSSS-CSN, is that these cameras will eventually be used to overcome a lack of staff ?

The union says it is also concerned about the privacy of the users as well as by a possible desire to monitor the personnel itself with this technology.

The repeated calls made by The Duty to the users ‘ Committee of the jewish general Hospital remained a dead letter. But Patricia M. Won, director general of the Regroupement provincial des users committees (RPCU), has affirmed the Need to be very surprised and concerned about this situation. “I understand that this is confirmed, but we have never heard of this before. This is very worrying. It is sure that we are going to react to that. “

For the RPCU, the presence of cameras door potentially affecting the dignity and personal secret. “Our users must give consent and be informed. A priori, the rights are not respected. If such a practice is put in place, it should not be improvised. “

“As the guardian of the rights of the users, the RPCU should worry about the fact that cameras have been placed in the room of people with the COVID-19 living their last moments to palliative care. An institution wishing to do so should ensure that it respects the rights of users and ensure that they, or their sponsor, agree to this practice. “

The director general of the RPCU recalls that in NURSING homes the presence of cameras, authorized in advance by the families or by the residents themselves, had caused several problems. In the current context, moreover in the heart of a hospital, ” it is likely to be even more of a concern than in NURSING homes “, she believes.

“There is too much risk of falling into child abuse, according to the RPCU. He will be inspiring the debate that took place around the mechanisms of supervision in NURSING homes […]. The situation here is even more thorny, because the cameras would be installed by the institution and not by the user. “

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