chapter  4
11 Pages

Loss at the end of life

Palliative care in prisons
WithKate Lillie

This chapter considers how dying in a custodial setting affects the losses experienced and focuses on deaths from natural causes. It critically considers the challenges involved in promoting a good death through palliative care within the criminal justice system. One important objective within palliative care is the enablement of a 'good death'. The prevention of suffering through the alleviation of physical symptoms is integral to palliative care. Prisoners have a fundamental right to the social, psychological, emotional and security palliative care, as well as symptom control. The support of family and friends is consistently emphasised as a mainstay of psychosocial support in palliative care and a family-centred approach is frequently promoted to support a good death. Death in prison need not be viewed as shameful or frightening if it can be afforded dignity, sensitivity, care and understanding.