Friday, April 20, 2007

Electronic Monitoring, Not Just for Criminals Anymore

Ok, so it's not that bad. Probably a good idea in lots of ways.
The science minister, Malcolm Wicks, today defended his suggestion to track elderly people with satellite-monitored tags, but said the government has no concrete plans to pursue the idea.

Mr Wicks raised the possibility of using satellite technology to help families or carers to track the whereabouts of "an 80 or 90-year-old who may have Alzheimer's" at a hearing of the Commons science select committee yesterday.

His comments attracted criticism from civil liberties groups, but charities including Help the Aged and the Alzheimer's Society have cautiously welcomed the idea.

Sad, but a reality that technology can help. There is a section of the elderly population that do reach extreme mental disability, and this would help to protect those who wander away from their homes.

The civil liberties groups have a pathetic argument against.
Shami Chakrabarti, director of civil liberties campaign group Liberty, raised concerns about "gimmicks" to replace expensive care. "A debate about better care for the elderly is a good thing but technical gimmicks often provide cheap and quick fixes rather than dignified and possibly expensive care," she said.
Oh, right, it's a gimmick because it would allow the elderly to stay with their family rather than be warehoused away, at high cost, in some institution. Surely that is better than personal care by the family maximizing their involvement in society to the maximum practical extent.

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