chapter  7
16 Pages

Health Care in Prisons

ByRoger A. Ralli

The provision of medical care for prisoners has and always will be a complex and contentious field of specialism. Prisons are the places to which society removes people who break its rules; loss of liberty is their punishment. Whilst prison may provide a chance of rehabilitation it must also be seen as a deterrent to others. In such a setting, the provision of medical care is fraught with practical as well as ethical problems. There are at least seven fundamental questions or dilemmas facing the prison doctor: 1 Are the doctors’ primary loyalties to the prisoner-patient or the prison

authority? Is this relationship covered by medical ethical codes and do the codes take account of a prison doctor’s particular needs and isolated position from the outside medical world?