WHY SHOULD THEY GET MEDICAL CARE/ free - page 2

This is a loaded question.... Here is the question that has been asked since I have been working for corrections. What is your response to those who were annoyed about medical care for the IM.... Read More

  1. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Certain things are considered "inalienable" (meaning no matter what kind of louse you are, you won't lose these) rights.

    Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    Clearly some things are adjustable--since liberty and the pursuit of happiness are bounded by the impact on others, most clearly seen in the incarcerated population.

    But life would include food, water, shelter and medical care in this culture.

    That's why.

    Because whether you like them or not, they have a right to it.

    It is not about deserving, or earning, that's different.
  2. by   BBFRN
    Also, they are state property while they're in prison. This means that they are also state responsibility.
  3. by   RN1989
    Quote from RN.38SPCL
    "criminal Mind" They Do Think Completely Different Than You And I. It Is Very Beneficial To An Inmate To Pretend Mental Illness. If You Keep Up The Crazy Behavior Long Enough To Get On Everyone's Nerves, You Qualify Through Psych To Be Heavily Medicated. Then You Can Breeze Your Way Through Jail Or Better Yet, Get Out Of Jail. I've Seen What You Would Think Was The Craziest Person Calm Right Down Immediatley After Swallowing A Pill And Be All Apologetic For Their Behavior. It Takes Weeks To Get True Results From Psych Meds, But The Inmate Fails To Recognize That. The Fakers Always Claim They Hear Voices And Will List The Exact Drug And Doses They Need. They Will Demand To Be Medicated Or Else. The Real Psych Patient Does Not Want You To Know They Hear Voices, They Don't Want You To Think They're Nuts, And They Always Refuse Meds.

    Sorry but the scenarios you tell aren't just all about inmates. They describe probably half the patients I have ever cared for. People with money and never once committed a crime do this. It's a stupid human trick.
  4. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    I agree with RN1989, although I didn't see it in "half" my clients, I did see it enough to be wary. The individuals who engaged in that silliness typically were a combo of personality disorder and relatively low IQ, which, if you think about it, is a large portion of the inmate population.

    We see people all the time who are faking symptoms, for whatever reason. That is not a reason to withhold medical treatment any more than an inability to pay is a reason.

    In fact, I know of no reason to withhold treatment from anyone, legally or morally, particularly if they are upright, walking and talking.

    And no, I am not suggesting that people who are not should ever be denied on that basis either.

    To suggest that medical care should be denied to people who are incarcerated felons or for any other reason which suggests something other than medical appropriateness is the reason. It asks whether they are "good enough" to receive care. Excuse me? This appears to be punitive and wholly inconsistent with the practice of healthcare.

    I would further suggest (and this always gets me such great emails) that if you feel that way, you need to get out of there and work with some other population that you don't feel this way about. If there is none, you need to do something other than nursing. Period. Trust me, you will be happier doing something you don't feel so resentful about.

    There was a time when nurses and our profession just didn't know any better. In the 1960's I can remember my aunt (then an LPN) writing about a patient who was a black woman who complained all the time. (Our family is white.) My aunt wrote that she "sure showed her who was boss" by making sure there was a burr on the needle the next time the woman needed an injection. I asked my mother, an RN, whether that wasn't wrong. My mother didn't respond, just ignored me. That sort of attitude and behavior (in both of them) was common--and their reasons just as reasonable as those today which suggest that available care should be denied to anyone who needs it.

    Who are we to judge? I mean really?

    I am very glad I am a nurse today. If we behave as our profession dictates, we are about being nonjudmental, noncritical, about using the best we have for each patient, to give the best care we can give, to make the most difference in the quality of their lives. We use objective data upon which to make decisions to benefit the patient. We take the patient's word about whether they are in pain. We now know that a sleeping patient is not a patient without pain, necessarily. We are smarter now. We are more moral now.

    If you cannot use this kind of thinking in the practice of your art, whether it be with felons or children or persons of another race, you need to rethink the wisdom of being in this profession.

    Period.
  5. by   RN.38SPCL
    Chris At Lucas, I Agree With 1989 And You. But What Does "objective Mean To You? To Me It Includes But Is Not Limited To:
    -existing As An Object Or Fact, Independent Of The Mind; Real, - Concerned With The realities Of The Thing Dealt With, Rather Than The Thoughts Of The Artist, Writer,
    From Websters New World Dictionary.
  6. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Quote from RN.38SPCL
    Chris At Lucas, I Agree With 1989 And You. But What Does "objective Mean To You? To Me It Includes But Is Not Limited To:
    -existing As An Object Or Fact, Independent Of The Mind; Real, - Concerned With The realities Of The Thing Dealt With, Rather Than The Thoughts Of The Artist, Writer,
    From Websters New World Dictionary.
    I don't see this as a contradiction or adding anything new. I guess I would be of the opinion that we are no longer on topic: discussing whether imprisoned individuals should receive proper medical care at the expense of the state.....

    If I might make one request, RN.38SPCL, however: it is very difficult to read all caps and initial caps. If you wouldn't mind, could you post using the usual method (e.g., not making the initial of every word a capital)?

    I'm sure what you have to say is important but it is so hard to read! :wink2:

    Thanks....
  7. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Quote from mercyteapot
    I'm sorry. I hope I didn't come off as doubting what was being said. I'm not an ER nurse, so I'd have no idea what goes on. I guess it is just difficult for me to fathom that anyone would elect incarceration, when in reality, there are other options. Not particularly attractive options in many cases, but to my way of thinking, still better than jail... Then again, my way of thinking isn't criminal in the first place. I guess that's the difference.
    Mercy, I'm with you. I'll take it further, even.

    We do not know any of these anecdotes to be fact. How often have we been given information about patients we actually see and care for, and it turns out to be someone's conjecture, exaggerated by a few more people, and elaborated upon by more? Remember the game called "gossip" or "rumor?" Same deal.

    We also do not know what people's circumstances are. People do desperate things in desperate times. I think we are arrogant when we assume we know it all, understand it all and could do better than they do.

    We are being judgmental when we do that. We aren't supposed to be..... It is one thing to make assumptions in an effort to help. Totally another thing when we make assumptions in the process of judging and criticizing.
  8. by   RN.38SPCL
    Quote from chris_at_lucas_RN
    I don't see this as a contradiction or adding anything new. I guess I would be of the opinion that we are no longer on topic: discussing whether imprisoned individuals should receive proper medical care at the expense of the state.....

    If I might make one request, RN.38SPCL, however: it is very difficult to read all caps and initial caps. If you wouldn't mind, could you post using the usual method (e.g., not making the initial of every word a capital)?

    I'm sure what you have to say is important but it is so hard to read! :wink2:

    Thanks....
    Sorry, I'm blind, it's easier to type in caps.
  9. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Quote from RN.38SPCL
    Sorry, I'm blind, it's easier to type in caps.
    These are initial caps.....

    Maybe a larger font? If you are able to see all caps, a larger font should work well.

    Thanks.
  10. by   nservice
    As a nurse, I have no problem caring for inmates. As a citizen, I have a problem with paying for their health care. There is a big difference between these two issues.
  11. by   BBFRN
    On a side note, it was Dorothea Dix (a nurse), who reformed prison health care in the 1800's, and fought for mental health care for inmates. She was the first one to see that most of those who were incarcerated suffered from some type of mental illness.

    The prison I worked in required inmates to pay $2 a visit to the medical dept. (unless we required that they come in). It's not much to us, but it did cut down on frivolous medical visits.
  12. by   RN1989
    Quote from nservice
    As a nurse, I have no problem caring for inmates. As a citizen, I have a problem with paying for their health care. There is a big difference between these two issues.

    So I wonder how our country's citizenry think that people who are in prison will be able to get jobs that will allow them to pay for healthcare? They can't exactly go scouring the want ads and go work at Walmart in order to have money for the doctor and meds....... I get the feeling that the fact that they are prisoners is the problem. Because they did something bad we shouldn't care for them.

    The last time I checked, our taxes pay for people who sometimes REFUSE to work, to get welfare money. They openly stay pregnant so that they can get that easy cash because they don't/won't see a way out of their situation. I can't count the number of times that I have been behind welfare persons in the checkout line and wondered why I can't afford name brand clothes and shoes. I drive old vehicles with the sides dented in and cracked windshields because I can't afford a new car while a welfare recipient is driving a new model expensive vehicle decked out with all the accessories. And shall we discuss that lots of people on welfare manage to have cell phones, expensive computers, cable tv and go for weekly manicures and hairdresser appts? I would say that people who have the ability to work but choose not to work and make poor choices with their finances are more of a problem than a person incarcerated behind bars without a chance to get a job. Why aren't we teaching people how to be responsible stewards of money and resources so that they don't depend on handouts? And why am I seeing so much inmate bashing when people in the free world are not any different in their attitudes? Oh right, I forgot - prisoners are bad people.....

    Perhaps so many people do not have personal knowledge of the prison system that these biases exist. The general public relies on the stereotypes perpetuated by the media to give them their info. And yet as nurses we dislike being portrayed by the media as sexy vixens on the nightshift ready to have an affair with the docs.

    As an advocate for judicial and prison reform I am disheartened to see the number of nurses on this particular forum who perpetuate what I see inside the prisons - the blatant disregard and lack of respect for those entrusted to their care. In my work I have personally witnessed guards and prison personnel treating me so nice and respectfully and literally 2 minutes later being rude to a prisoner or the families that come to visit. Of course those families that come to visit are treated well if they are dressed as if they are wealthy. Those wearing clothing that might indicate a lower socioeconomic status are usually treated worse.

    The vast majority of prisoners do not get first class care. I personally know of quite a few prisoners who have died because of the state's refusal to treat them. So often their complaints are ignored by even the medical staff. Most of the prison medical staff I have encountered feel exactly how people on this forum do - that prisoners don't deserve the care. A few medical staff I know have had to quit because of the poor treatment by fellow staff because they tried to make a difference in the lives of the incarcerated. Apparently it is not cool to care and too many don't know how to set boundaries that allow them to give compassionate, dignified care while not allowing truly manipulative people to cause problems. Hmmm, sounds kinda like the free world to me! There are many prisons that charge an inmate a copay to go to the infirmary - and they don't always get to see a licensed person either. I know of one doc who is in charge of 6 prisons. He knows that he doesn't get to see everyone that he should see because he has literally thousands of inmates to see.

    Not everyone in prison is the punky gang banger with no regard for human life. I realize that TV gives that impression but it is WRONG! Many people are simply trying to live their lives and make a mistake that they and their families pay for dearly. Did you know that there are people executed and they never even killed anyone? Do you know how many families are homeless because Dad was in the wrong place at the wrong time and made a choice that caused him to be incarcerated because he couldn't afford an attorney? Yet I know of children of rich people who never go to jail for the same offense? There are also vast numbers of mentally ill person who never got the care that they needed to manage their illness. Mental illness doesn't just strike poor people either. The only reason you don't see wealthy people open about mental illness is because they have the money to get treatment or to hide that embarrassing relative from the public.

    I can't tell you the number of nurses that have nearly run me off the road trying to get to work in a hurry, breaking numerous traffic laws. Yet they feel that they are better than a "felon". You'd be surprised at what can constitute a felony. Sorry, a law is a law and if you speed on the way to work you are not a law-abiding citizen.

    Unfortunately most who read this will not care one whit about enlightening themselves to the true issues and work to help everyone. But I will continue to do my part to be an advocate for those who are unable to advocate for themselves and pray that none of you ever have need of my intervention should you or a loved one learn first hand about being in prison.

    "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in PRISON and you came to visit me." "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" Matthew 25:35,36,40
    Last edit by RN1989 on Nov 30, '07
  13. by   mercyteapot
    I didn't know we were taking a vote for who is less worthy, TANF recipients or jailbirds. I do agree that prisoners are entitled to basic healthcare, but I also understand the frustration of those of us who break our backs paying for it and for Medicaid. Especially when a lot of us can't afford coverage for ourselves or our families. If healthcare is an entitlement for the poor and incarcerated, it should certainly be one for people who are contributing to the system, but that's for another thread, I suppose.

    I support the concept of assistance, especially for families and humane treatment of prisoners. Seeing the system abused the way that it is feels disheartening, though, especially when it seems to favor those who won't help themselves over those who will.

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