Medical ethics in prisons: Rules, standards and challenges

Medical ethics in prisons: Rules, standards and challenges Health care practitioners in prison face the challenge of providing high standards of health care within the unique peculiarities and restraints of the prison environment. The strict adherence to principles of medical ethics by the prison health care staff and the knowledge and acceptance of these principles by the whole prison community not only results in ethical conduct but also yields practical professional advantages such as guidance in situations of conflict, promotion of confidence and avoidance of misunderstandings. The internationally consented conventions, declarations and recommendations relevant on medical ethics in prison are presented and their basic principles ‐ the primary task of the prison doctor, access to a doctor, equivalence of care, patient’s consent and confidentiality, preventive health care, humanitarian assistance, professional independence, professional competence ‐ are discussed. In addition, the personal obligation of the prison doctor for ethical reflection and decision making in individual ethical issues not covered by the quoted documents and in ethically controversial issues is emphasized. A training course and published guidelines for ethical conduct in prison health care are recommended. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Prisoner Health Emerald Publishing

Medical ethics in prisons: Rules, standards and challenges

International Journal of Prisoner Health, Volume 2 (4): 9 – Jan 1, 2006

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1744-9200
DOI
10.1080/17449200601069643
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Health care practitioners in prison face the challenge of providing high standards of health care within the unique peculiarities and restraints of the prison environment. The strict adherence to principles of medical ethics by the prison health care staff and the knowledge and acceptance of these principles by the whole prison community not only results in ethical conduct but also yields practical professional advantages such as guidance in situations of conflict, promotion of confidence and avoidance of misunderstandings. The internationally consented conventions, declarations and recommendations relevant on medical ethics in prison are presented and their basic principles ‐ the primary task of the prison doctor, access to a doctor, equivalence of care, patient’s consent and confidentiality, preventive health care, humanitarian assistance, professional independence, professional competence ‐ are discussed. In addition, the personal obligation of the prison doctor for ethical reflection and decision making in individual ethical issues not covered by the quoted documents and in ethically controversial issues is emphasized. A training course and published guidelines for ethical conduct in prison health care are recommended.

Journal

International Journal of Prisoner HealthEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 1, 2006

Keywords: Medical ethics; Prison; Health care in prison

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