The Department of Veterans Affairs has admitted to reporters at the Tampa Bay Times that it installed a surveillance camera in a patient's room.
Joseph Carnegie, an Air Force vet, checked into James A. Haley VA Medical Center last August to recover from an infection. Later on that month he suffered cardiac arrest and brain damage when staffers failed to notice fluid in his feeding tube had cut off his air supply. It was shortly after Carnegie's family notified the Haley VA Center of their intent to sue that the camera was installed.Although it was disguised to look like a smoke detector-and is even marketed by its manufacturer under the name "Vonnic C401W Smoke Detector Covert Camera"-VA officials denied the camera was hidden. They claimed instead that the smoke detector cam was necessary to monitor the patient's condition (because, you know, a pin hole camera stuck on the ceiling is much more effective than a standard heart monitor, or simply asking people to do their jobs). The family's request to have the camera removed was refused.
*This article has been edited for an error stating that Joseph Carnegie is comatose. In fact, he is brain damaged and unable to communicate. I apologize for the error.