Since many mental institutions are closing, prisons are becoming more populated with individuals with mental health issues. Treating mentally ill individuals in prison is very important, in particular the environment and the treatment that is provided. If those with mental health issues are not treated appropriately, their symptoms could worsen, and this could violate their rights.
There are, however, problems when it comes to treating seriously mentally ill inmates. One issue is the lack of training of correctional officers as it relates to mental health. Another important issue is the refusal of treatment by the inmates. The refusal of treatment could be caused by any number of factors: inmates may lack awareness of their own illness, inmates may not think they are sick, et cetera. The right to refuse treatment raises questions of laws and ethics.
Sarah is serving 5 years for illegal drug trafficking, possession, and abuse; this is her fourth offense and second time being incarcerated. Sarah has also been diagnosed with having schizophrenia. She refuses to take her prescription medications and tries to self-medicate with illegal drugs. While incarcerated, Sarah continues to refuse her medication and treatment but often has episodes as a result of her illness. The prison guards, not being trained on mental illness, interpret her behavior as being non-compliant and difficult.
- What ethical concerns are there with regards to the right to refuse treatment?
- How do laws affect treatment of inmates with mental illness in regard to the right to refuse treatment?
Create a 1 page essay in APA format according to the instructions above. Use 2 scholarly sources for references. Utilize in-text citations.