Spy Cams Installed at NY Hospital Bathrooms to Monitor Handwashing, an article by William Zimmerman at Telepresence Options, questions the correctness of recording behavior to reveal the need for change.
A camera lens focused outward may indicate a need for changes in health promoting behavior, but it also creates ethical challenges.
Zimmerman, in his piece, wrote that a hospital in New York placed cameras “to view sinks to insure proper hand hygiene.”
If cameras can be utilized to spy on the medical community to insure they are doing everything they can to promote healthy outcomes, some worry that it is just a matter of time before the lens gets turned on everyone else, even on you.
Let’s say though, that the lens that is turned on you is pointed inward. Then you ask, I’m just a banker, ballerina, bowler, jeweler, or student, how could a camera lens focused on me make a difference in my health?
When you leave pessimism behind and express greater optimism, your opportunity for health goes up exponentially. Research has shown that optimism causes positive impacts on health, but virtues like gratitude, forgiveness, and love, can do so as well. “Your mind affects your genes,” wrote Deepak Chopra for CNN, while he grappled with the question Can positive thinking make you well? Of course, a camera can’t tell what you are thinking, yet, your actions are often good indicators.
Would you object if cameras watched to make sure you prayed or attended religious services? Research indicates what some people have recognized for two thousand years: Spirituality is a vital ingredient when it comes to health. Virtues motivated by some degree of spiritual sense are problem solvers.
Two articles, Olmstead case was a watershed for Supreme Court by the National Constitution Center (NCC) staff at the Constitution Daily and Bill Scott’s The redemption of Roy Olmstead, at Spotlight on Spirituality and Health, lead to a look at how an inside focus can also promote healthy behavior, but without the ethical and legal complications.
In the article, Olmstead case was a watershed for Supreme Court, the NCC staff informs us that June 4 marked the 84th anniversary of the Olmstead v. United States wiretapping case.
The case was based on the illegal activities of Roy Olmstead, a Seattle police lieutenant with quite a part-time job. He was “the most successful bootlegger in the Pacific Northwest during Prohibition.”
Olmstead was arrested on Thanksgiving Day 1924. In 1926, he was sentenced to serve four years of hard labor in a federal prison.
The article states, “Olmstead’s empire was ferreted out by a federal investigation that became a landmark in the annals of American law. …After his conviction, Olmstead’s appeal made it to the Supreme Court on the grounds that the wiretapping act [which brought down Olmstead’s operation] was a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights relating to unreasonable search and seizure.”
The Court’s initial verdict in 1928 declared that the unapproved wiretapping was permissible. However, this decision was overturned in 1967 making wiretapping subject to warrant requirements.
“As he began to serve his sentence at McNeil Island Federal Penitentiary, …something happened that changed his life,” writes Bill Scott, in his post.
Olmstead discovered, while reading a book given to him by another prisoner, the importance of turning the lens within. He learned that health was an outcome of spirituality. Health was a mental state protected by spiritual awareness, and this spiritual awareness coupled with righteous virtues promoted health.
Olmstead didn’t have a spy cam in his cell, but history tells us that his sudden spiritual awakening enabled him to begin helping and healing fellow inmates.
He was released from prison in 1931. Scott concluded his post, by stating, “… bootlegging was not [Olmstead’s] true calling; nor did he fade away into obscurity. Rather, he went on to live the most significant years of his life—serving humanity and quietly healing all those who sought him out.”
In 1935, in recognition of his dedicated work with prisoners, including programs about alcohol abstinence, President Franklin D. Roosevelt granted him a full pardon.
Today, while court judges grapple with the ethical and legal considerations of the growing intrusive viewing of your every move, perhaps the better lens angle to consider is the one that points within.
– Keith Wommack is a Syndicated Columnist, Christian Science practitioner and teacher, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s syndicated columns originate at: http://texashealthblog.com/
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