SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.9 issue2From the myth of narcissus to personality disorders in aragonese prisons: an introductory profile of personality disorders amongst people deprived of their liberty author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • Have no similar articlesSimilars in SciELO
  • On index processSimilars in Google


Revista Española de Sanidad Penitenciaria

On-line version ISSN 2013-6463Print version ISSN 1575-0620


GARCIA-GUERRERO, J. et al. Autonomy and patient prisoners. Rev. esp. sanid. penit. [online]. 2007, vol.9, n.2, pp.47-52. ISSN 2013-6463.

The authors study a recent Spanish High Court decision declaring liability on the Administration’s part for the death of an inmate in a prison hospital. We analyse the Court’s decision using legal, ethical, medical and social perspectives. The conclusions are that: 1. the Administration has no legitimate right to force a prisoner to take medical treatment, except in circumstances in which there is a grave and definite risk to the patient’s life, or when the patient lacks capacity or when there is the risk of harm to the health of third parties; 2. That in the case of health decision making that might affect a patient, the Court has mounted a frontal attack on the autonomy of patients in prison; 3. That from a medical point of view the decision is discriminatory since it does not apply the same standards of measurement to all chronic illnesses that might be found in the prison context; 4. That it is inapplicable in daily practice due to the fact that its strictness of application would seriously affect the already highly fragile ordered coexistence that exists in a prison.

Keywords : Personal Autonomy; Legislation & Jurisprudence; Treatment Refusal; Prison.

        · abstract in Spanish     · text in Spanish     · Spanish ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License