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Protecting prisoners’ autonomy with advance directives: ethical dilemmas and policy issues


Andorno, Roberto; Shaw, David M; Elger, Bernice (2015). Protecting prisoners’ autonomy with advance directives: ethical dilemmas and policy issues. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 18(1):33-39.

Abstract

Over the last decade, several European countries and the Council of Europe itself have strongly supported the use of advance directives as a means of protecting patients’ autonomy, and adopted specific norms to regulate this matter. However, it remains unclear under which conditions those regulations should apply to people who are placed in correctional settings. The issue is becoming more significant due to the increasing numbers of inmates of old age or at risk of suffering from mental disorders, all of whom might benefit from using advance directives. At the same time, the closed nature of prisons and the disparate power relationships that characterise them mean that great caution must be exercised to prevent care being withdrawn or withheld from inmates who actually want to receive it. This paper explores the issue of prisoners’ advance directives in the European context, starting with the position enshrined in international and European law that prisoners retain all their human rights, except the right to liberty, and are therefore entitled to self-determination regarding health care decisions.

Abstract

Over the last decade, several European countries and the Council of Europe itself have strongly supported the use of advance directives as a means of protecting patients’ autonomy, and adopted specific norms to regulate this matter. However, it remains unclear under which conditions those regulations should apply to people who are placed in correctional settings. The issue is becoming more significant due to the increasing numbers of inmates of old age or at risk of suffering from mental disorders, all of whom might benefit from using advance directives. At the same time, the closed nature of prisons and the disparate power relationships that characterise them mean that great caution must be exercised to prevent care being withdrawn or withheld from inmates who actually want to receive it. This paper explores the issue of prisoners’ advance directives in the European context, starting with the position enshrined in international and European law that prisoners retain all their human rights, except the right to liberty, and are therefore entitled to self-determination regarding health care decisions.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:02 Faculty of Law > Institute of Legal Sciences > Basic Subjects
Dewey Decimal Classification:340 Law
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Health (social science)
Social Sciences & Humanities > Education
Health Sciences > Health Policy
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:19 Jan 2016 09:49
Last Modified:26 Jan 2022 08:26
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1386-7423
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11019-014-9571-z

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