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NCJ Number: 43490 Find in a Library
Title: HEALTH CARE IN JAILS - INMATES' MEDICAL RECORDS AND JAIL INMATES' RIGHT TO REFUSE MEDICAL TREATMENT
Author(s): W P ISELE
Corporate Author: American Medical Assoc
Publishing Operation Division
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: American Medical Assoc
Chicago, IL 60610
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 77-ED-99-0011
Publication Number: PA 597-N 8/77 8M
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: MEDICAL RECORDS ARE CONFIDENTIAL, ALTHOUGH CERTAIN CONSIDERATIONS CAN OUTWEIGH THIS CONFIDENTIALITY; SUCH CONSIDERATIONS AND THE RIGHT TO REFUSE TREATMENT ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: COURTS HAVE GENERALLY HELD THAT ALL MEDICAL RECORDS AND INFORMATION ARE OF A CONFIDENTIAL NATURE. HOWEVER, THIS CONFIDENTIALITY CAN BE WAIVED WHEN NECESSARY FOR THE WELFARE OF THE PATIENT (AS IN CHILD ABUSE CASES), THE WELFARE OF THE COMMUNITY (CASES OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE IN A JAIL OR PRISON COMMUNITY), OR THE DICTATES OF THE LAW (WHEN THE EXAMINATION IS NEEDED FOR EVIDENCE). IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, JAIL ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL WILL NEED ACCESS TO MEDICAL RECORDS. IN ALL CASES, THESE RECORDS SHOULD BE TREATED AS CONFIDENTIAL MATERIAL. WHEN PERSONNEL ARE INVOLVED IN MEDICAL CARE, AS IN THE CASE OF A GUARD WHO IS ASKED TO SUMMON A DOCTOR, THEY ALSO MUST TREAT THE MATTER AS CONFIDENTIAL. PRISONERS HAVE A RIGHT TO REFUSE MEDICAL TREATMENT, BUT DOCTORS HAVE A DUTY TO THE WELFARE OF THE COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE. A FEW STATES HAVE ENACTED LAWS DEFINING IMPLIED CONSENT (WHEN THE PATIENT IS UNCONSCIOUS OR OTHERWISE INCAPABLE OF MAKING HIS WISHES KNOWN). THE PRISONER CANNOT REFUSE TREATMENT OF CONTAGIOUS OR VENEREAL DISEASES. IN CASES OF EMERGENCY OR WHEN THE STATE HAS AN OVERRIDING INTEREST IN PRESERVING THE LIFE OF THE PRISONER (AS IN SUICIDE ATTEMPTS OR ASSAULT CASES), THE DOCTOR MAY ADMINISTER TREATMENT. THE SITUATION IS NOT CLEAR FOR JUVENILES IN CONFINEMENT. GENERALLY PARENTAL PERMISSION IS SOUGHT UNLESS THE JUVENILE IS CONSIDERED 'EMANCIPATED.' IN VIRGINIA, THE CORRECTIONS OFFICIAL IN CHARGE MAY GIVE CONSENT.
Index Term(s): Correctional institutions (adult); Correctional institutions (juvenile); Jails; Medical and dental services; Prisoner's rights
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=43490

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