Preventing Human Rights Violations in Prison – the Role of Guidelines
Elger, Bernice S.; Ritter, Catherine; Stöver, Heino
Emerging Issues in Prison Health
Place of publication
978-94-017-7556-4 ; 978-94-017-7558-8
Human Rights, Prison, Guidelines
It is common knowledge that the human rights of prisoners are often not respected. But can guidelines help to prevent such violations? In this chapter we explore this topic and examine how to help healthcare professionals navigate the conflicts of interest that can make it difficult to ensure that patients’ rights are respected. To do so, we explain the role of guidelines – both clinical and ethical – for non-incarcerated patients outside prisons and for those within prisons. Within such institutions, the main challenges are ensuring that patients receive healthcare that is equivalent to that available outside prison, and ensuring patient autonomy in healthcare decisions. Despite the good practices set out in many national and international guidelines, physicians (both inside and outside prisons) are often unfamiliar with this guidance. Both greater awareness of existing guidelines and development of further guidelines are required.