Virtual Mentor

Virtual Mentor. February 2008, Volume 10, Number 2.

Ethics Poll

Caring for the Incarcerated Patient

The Ethics Poll is a snapshot of the opinions of interested readers.

As wards of the state, prisoners are guaranteed health care, a fact that many citizens find unfair. Which of the following statements best expresses how you feel about prisoners' access to health care?
Prisoners should not receive health care.
Prisoners should receive health care only for emergency conditions, acute infections, and illnesses that pose public health threats. They should not be provided treatment and medication for non-life-threatening, chronic conditions that many non-incarcerated people cannot afford.
Prisoners should receive care for all emergency and chronic conditions but should not be eligible for organ transplants.
Prisoners should receive the same scope and quality of health care that is available to non-prisoners.

A prisoner with severe medical illness who is a threat to himself or others should retain his right to refuse psychotropic medication.

During incarceration prisoners should have access to:
(Check as many as apply.)
Education leading to a GED (high school degree equivalent)
Counseling on how to get a job.
Health and lifestyle education.
None of the above.

Poll results reflect the opinions of visitors to the site who voluntarily answer the poll questions. Those visitors do not represent a random sample of our readers. The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.