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NCJ Number: 31001 Find in a Library
Title: RIGHTS OF PRISONERS TO MEDICAL CARE AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR DRUG-DEPENDENT PRISONERS AND PRETRIAL DETAINEES
Journal: UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO LAW REVIEW  Volume:42  Issue:4  Dated:(SUMMER 1975)  Pages:705-732
Author(s): SLUTSKY
Corporate Author: University of Chicago
Law School
Managing Editor
United States of America
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 28
Sponsoring Agency: University of Chicago
Chicago, IL 60637
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: ANALYZED IS WHETHER A DRUG-DEPENDENT PRISONER OR PRETRIAL DETAINEE CAN DEMAND EITHER SHORT-TERM METHADONE DETOXIFICATION OR METHADONE MAINTENANCE UNDER THE COMMON LAW, STATE OR FEDERAL STATUTES, OR THE CONSTITUTION.
Abstract: THIS COMMENT FIRST EXAMINES THE VARIOUS NON-CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO MEDICAL CARE, BOTH IN GENERAL AND IN THEIR APPLICATION TO DRUG-DEPENDENT PRISONERS. THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO MEDICAL CARE IS THEN EXAMINED AND THE TWO STANDARDS USED BY THE FEDERAL COURTS TO DEFINE THIS RIGHT - ONE RESTRICTIVE AND ONE MORE PROTECTIVE OF PRISONER'S RIGHTS - ARE EXPLAINED. THE RESTRICTIVE MAJORITY STANDARD OF MEDICAL CARE INVOLVES THE JUDICIAL INTERPRETATION THAT A PRISONER IS ENTITLED TO 'SOME' (ALTHOUGH NOT NECESSARILY THE BEST) CARE, AND NEGLIGENT CARE IS NOT ACTIONABLE. UNDER THE MINORITY STANDARD, THE PRISONER HAS 'REASONABLE' MEDICAL CARE. IT IS THEN SUGGESTED THAT NARCOTICS ADDICTION IS A DISEASE REQUIRING MEDICAL TREATMENT AND THAT SHORT-TERM METHADONE DETOXIFICATION IS THE GENERALLY ACCEPTED MEDICAL 'CURE.' FINALLY, THE COMMENT APPLIES THE TWO CONSTITUTIONAL STANDARDS TO THE DISEASE OF ADDICTION IN ORDER TO DETERMINE IF, UNDER EITHER CLASSIFICATION, THE DRUGDEPENDENT PRISONER OR PRETRIAL DETAINEE IS ENTITLED TO SHORT-TERM METHADONE DETOXIFICATION OR TO LONG-TERM METHADONE MAINTENANCE. THE AUTHOR CONCLUDES THAT IF SHORT TERM METHADONE DETOXIFICATION IS THE PROPER MEDICAL 'CURE' FOR PHYSIOLOGICAL DRUG DEPENDENCY, IT IS DIFFICULT TO JUSTIFY WITHHOLDING IT FROM A PRISONER WHOSE DRUG DEPENDENCY IS TO BE ELIMINATED. ON THE OTHER HAND, BECAUSE THERE IS NO CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO SOCIAL REHABILITATION FOR PRISONERS AND BECAUSE THE USE OF METHADONE FOR LONG-TERM MAINTENANCE HAS NOT YET GAINED GENERAL MEDICAL ACCEPTANCE, ONLY PRETRIAL DETAINEES WHO ARE ALREADY PARTICIPATING IN REGULATED MAINTENANCE PROGRAMS WHEN INCARCERATED WOULD HAVE ANY LIKELIHOOD OF SUCCESS IN DEMANDING LONG-TERM METHADONE MAINTENANCE WHILE IN JAIL. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED)
Index Term(s): Cruel and unusual punishment; Judicial decisions; Medical and dental services; Methadone detoxification treatment; Methadone maintenance; Prisoner's rights; Right to Due Process; Right to treatment
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=31001

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