services is accessible to every citizen in the United States due to universal
coverage. In the United States, the government advertise and strongly encourage
their citizens to receive healthcare from providers no matter the cost.
Furthermore, it is also a privilege to be a citizen and receive these certain
perks in the United States. For instance, criminals violate certain rights and
laws which find themselves in prison. Evidently, going to jail or prison
results in having certain rights put in questioned. On the contrary, this does
not hold true that all prisoners in jail are without any constitutional rights.
In most cases, while in prison a person’s rights
can vary depending on the severity of the offense and the area of
daunting question looms, what is crippling prisoners from receiving quality
health care? It is important to note, prisoners are those individuals who
violated the norms and rules that our government has placed in which to constraint
chaos. Ideally, spending money on prisoner health care is controversial because
society chooses to reject those whose actions challenged laws or intend harm on
other beings. For instance, the idea that a prisoner is next to receive an
liver replacement, in result to illegal substance abuse which cause their
current liver failure would cause a riot. In jail prisoners are exposed to
high-risk activities that can result in physical body damage, infectious diseases, and untreated injuries that develop into
disabilities. In 2009 a study published in the American Journal of Public
Health uncovered inmates with chronic medical problems didn’t receive a medical
exam while incarcerated.
today’s society, prisoners are socially and mentally discriminated on. Essentially,
prisoners are human beings first. Meaning they are granted with the birth
rights established by our US constitution. In the event of an ill or injured
prisoner he or she should be allowed access medical treatment by trained
medical personnel. Unfortunately, not everyone can actually receive this
assistance when needed and in result these inmates suffer through extreme
medical conditions. Each prison has a duty to house prisoners while they serve
their punishment. Meaning each prison take full responsibility for the health
of every inmate.
History of topic
2012, Daniel Roque Hall’s experience in jail demonstrate how inmates are
portrayed and judged as prisoners first and patient’s last. Daniel Roque Hall
suffered from ataxia, which is a rare degenerative condition that impairs his
body coordination. Also Mr. Hall has type 1 diabetes and struggled daily with a
weak heart, which in turn he had to be constantly monitored. In July of 2012,
at Isleworth crown court, Hall was sentenced to three years of imprisonment for
importation of cocaine. Overtime, Hall suffered seizures and says he was
constantly denied his full medication. In the event of an ill or injured
prisoner he or she should be allowed medical treatment by any physician.
legal reasons for providing healthcare to prisoners came about in the 1976
Supreme Court Estelle v. Gamble decision, in which the court held dispossession
of health care equivalent to cruel and unusual punishment. By this, a violation
of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution which states, excessive bail shall
not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments
inflicted. This case also determined that
although accidental or inadvertent failure to provide adequate medical care to
a prisoner would not violate the Eighth Amendment, “deliberate
indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners” violates the Amendment
because it constitutes the unnecessary and cruel infliction of pain contrary to
contemporary standards of civility (New York Times, 1993). Furthermore,
Janene Wallace who suffered from depression, anxiety and paranoia, committed
suicide on May 26, 2015, during a 52-day period in solitary confinement. A
privately-owned Delaware County prison has agreed to pay $7 million to the
family of a mentally ill inmate who was allegedly mistreated by staff, denied
psychiatric treatment and encouraged to kill herself by a guard. Prison abuse
isn’t going anywhere, despite federal mandates and prisoners’ rights activism.
After 38-year-old Terrill Thomas died from profound dehydration while in
solitary confinement in a Milwaukee County Jail cell, fellow inmates reported
that he had been begging correctional officers for something to drink for a
week. An investigating detective testified that according to an inmate, “Thomas
asked every guard for water because the water in his cell was shut off.”
Ultimately, on the seventh day, Thomas went quiet, slumped over, and died on
April 24, 2016.
always two sides of a story. Allowing physicians to care for prisoners gives
each inmate a possibility to go on trial and have a chance to fight for their
freedom. These prisoners are innocent until proven guilty. Keeping them alive
for as long as possible can grant hope of them being wrongly accused. Some may
argue that allowing prisoners to receive medical attention is wrong. Some
people can’t get past the fact that these people committed crimes and deserve
to be punished. Others feel that providing treatment instead of punishment only
is not such of a great lesson to be learned.
case, trusting a criminal thought process is another risk. Sick calls can be
and is abused by some inmates. This abuse of sick call places a strain on
available resources, making it more difficult to provide adequate care for
inmates who really need the attention. Also, prisoners who take part in
clinical trials are dangerously vulnerable to exploitation. Inmates don’t have
outside resources and most have no source of income while incarcerated. The crowded
conditions in jail increase the risk of spreading infections, and effective
measures need to be taken to reduce this risk. Avoiding medical care for so
called minor situations can lead to serious consequences for the inmate or
inmate population, since the minor situation can deteriorate to serious status
or lead to the infection of others.
Application of ethical theories ?
Attesting back to prisoners, these
inmates are humans first. Instead of allowing them to suffer while serving a
punishment unrelated to their health they should be able to serve their time in
good health. From a deontologist view, only acts done from duty besides compassion
are praiseworthy. The correct motive for caring for inmates is not because the
guard feels like doing so, but because it is the right thing to do. In the cases of Terrill
Thomas, Janene Wallace, and Daniel Hall, their life was placed in the hands of
the prison staff. If the guards were to have taken their job serious and out of
respect of our laws treated these inmates like people they would possibly be
alive today. It is a shame that these people were hired and contradicted their
guard duties. Having guards who actually care about their work duties and the safety
of all people should be working in prisons.
city of New York, inmate abuse is a fact of life for many of New York’s 100,000
prisoners. The abuse comes in different forms and from different sources so
it’s difficult for incarcerated persons to ever feel safe in their day-to-day
lives. New York gives a lot of power to prison guards so that they may
effectively maintain the prison system and keep inmates safe. Unfortunately,
some correctional officers abuse this power and assault inmates. Inmate abuse
occurs when prison officials use unnecessary and excessive force or commit
sexual assault upon the prisoner. By this why are these prison guards granted
so much power over these inmates which in fact is not benefiting the inmates at
all. In order to combat this, the power given to guards should be limited and
inmates should be granted life necessities such as water and food. Indubitably,
it is inhumane to allow one to suffer and ignore their medical needs. To that
end, placing better regulations in the prison systems and focusing on the safety
of the inmate’s lives will serve great benefit for them while serving their
majority of prisoners are poor. In some cases, prisoners have to pay for their
own health services using currency from their personal commissary accounts.
From a utilitarian approach, why not grant prisoners with health care to maximize
happiness and a great amount of pleasure to many. Denying prisoners of health
services is morally wrong and only leads to suffering and pain. Interestingly
enough, not all citizens have health insurance and they have the privilege to
walk into any healthcare setting and request service. Think of it like this, if
it is unlawful for a hospital to deny service to someone without health
insurance, what sense would it make to for a prison to halt an inmate from receiving
treatment for a health issue.
National Commission on Correctional Heath Care recognizes that lack of access
to health care is a serious problem in detention and correctional institutions.
The cost of medical care is an increasingly heavy burden on the financial
resources of the facility, state, or county. The average prisoner without
health coverage in a southern state institution costs about $34,000 a year.
With all the cost primarily focused on being able to house an inmate, the cost
of healthcare for inmates is not high on the list of priorities. As a result, prisoners
would have to work for money or hope to have family send funds to their commissary.
Others don’t have these options to fall back on and are placed in predicaments
to choose what really matters. Having no source of income can make buying soap
or toiletries rather than seeing the doctors a serious decision. In order to
see change, research suggest making services in jail affordable for all inmates.
In some cases, inmates would have to pay a fixed copay to see a physician. To
benefit the population as a whole it is better to charge one lowered set fee in
which all inmates can pay. The cost needs to be controlled legally without
affecting needed care.
all, physicians should be allowed to medicate
prisoners to make them competent for trial. In a sense, it would not make sense
to treat someone who will be executed. That would be a waste of resources and that
would better serve someone else with a promising future. The American Medical Association
believe that facilities and clinicians should commit to making constant
improvement in their care systems to motivate more than just care for
incarcerated patients. In my opinion, I agree with their statement and think at
the lowest level possible inmates should receive the basic care from physicians.
At the end of the day, all lives are precious and a life that could be saved should
be saved. Especially if it means protecting others from associated harm. In such
a small living arrangement, a flu or disease can spread like wild fire. So,
acting to prevent a virus from spreading is an act that will serve great for
the inmate population.