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Hidden Cameras in Hospitals Can Uncover Child Abuse

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"A child can't speak up for himself," he says. "And someone has to be an advocate for the child. No one can ask that child if its okay to videotape your parents making you sick."

Feldman agrees. "There's been a question as to whether parents have a reasonable right to anticipate privacy in a hospital room, and the answer -- both legally and ethically -- is no."

He also points out that people don't question monitoring devices in stores and other facilities. "You can go into a department store and the cameras are everywhere -- you are being surveyed continuously to make sure you don't engage in a criminal act," he says.

Because of the hidden cameras, four mothers who had been suspected of Munchausen syndrome by proxy were exonerated, as no suspicious or abusive behavior was noted. This shows that hidden surveillance can work both ways, Hall says.

"We believe strongly that [the surveillance] is ethical and the right thing to do in selected cases," Hall says. "Not only does it protect children, but it can also protect parents who are innocent."

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