chapter  2
10 Pages

Death, dying and maintaining hope

Ethical tensions and responsibilities for end-of-life care in the prison setting
WithAnthony Wrigley

This chapter focuses on the need for one vital yet oft-ignored aspect of end of-life care: that of hope. End-of-life care for prisoners is therefore delivered in a highly strict and rigid environment offering far from ideal end-of-life care conditions. The chapter outlines the limited space remaining that, despite limitations on what can be achieved in the prison setting, this does not mean that the maintenance of hope is impossible. Loneliness, hopelessness and despair are features of prison life that many might argue are inevitably a feature of existence in a restricted environment. When combined, the two rather distinct areas of 'medical care' and 'criminal justice' create a much more complex picture of ethical challenges than they do by themselves. The problem arises not because the theories of criminal justice advocate limiting care for prisoners but because these theories advocate other restrictions that are well supported as an aspect of criminal justice.