Care for the Incarcerated Patient
Men and women in U.S. prisons have a constitutionally protected right to medical care. Though some claim this is unjust, it doesn’t take too much thinking to realize that a civilized society could hardly allow infectious disease, acute injury, or severe mental illness to go untreated among those it holds in custody. (The unfairness, of course, is that America’s nonincarcerated residents are not guaranteed care.) Assuring access, however, says nothing about the quality of care prison patients receive, and that is the subject of this month’s issue.