Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952514 | Print ISBN: 9780761927310 | Online ISBN: 9781412952514| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Kenneth L. Faiver
Methods for diagnosing and treating illness are the same, whether the patient lives behind bars or in free society. No convincing legal or ethical argument can be made, on the basis of arrest, conviction, or sentence, to justify denying prisoners a level of health care that is equivalent to the community standard. Though the principles and criteria governing medical practice for incarcerated persons are identical to community standards, the correctional context introduces important differences. Concern for safety and security is preeminent. Consequently, there may be compromises in privacy and confidentiality. Health care service delivery in correctional facilities is less efficient, given the need to secure all sharp items and medications from possible misuse. Movement and transport are necessarily controlled and restricted, resulting in downtime for health professionals between patients. Patients also have less freedom to choose among providers, though they remain autonomous and free to accept or reject treatment. Caring ...