Navigation Links
Researchers see ethical dilemmas of providing care in drug detention centers

(Garrison, NY) Organizations that seek to provide health care, food, and other services to people held in drug detention centers in developing countries often face ethical dilemmas: Are they doing more good than harm? Are they helping detainees or legitimizing a corrupt system and ultimately building its capacity to detain and abuse more people?

Such dilemmas are explored in an article coauthored by Nancy Berlinger and Michael Gusmano, research scholars at The Hastings Center, along with Roxanne Saucier and Daniel Wolfe of the Open Society Institute, and Nicholas Thomson of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The article appears in the current issue of the International Journal of Prisoner Health.

The article focuses on the drug detention centers that have proliferated over the last decade in China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and other parts of Asia. Although the centers say that they provide drug treatment and rehabilitation, in reality people inside receive no effective drug treatment, little medical care, and insufficient food. Indeed, they are more likely to face what amounts to torture, cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. Unlike prisons, detention centers have no judicial process or right of appeal. More than 400,000 people are detained each year.

Some nongovernmental organizations attempt to provide care and services to the detainees, but center administrators and their governments sometimes seek these relationships to legitimatize the detention centers. "In 2008, many were alarmed when a large U.S.-funded health organization sent an announcement saying that they were going to help make a notoriously abusive drug detention center in Cambodia a 'Center for Excellence,'" the authors write. "This same center was widely viewed by most health and human rights organizations as beyond redemption."

The goal of providing health services to detainees is ethically sound, the article says. However, it presents an ethical dilemma a situation in which no option is clearly right, and that can be resolved only by determining which option is less wrong than others under particular circumstances. "It would be incorrect to assume that doing something in this setting in this case, undertaking health-related goals is better than doing 'nothing,'" the authors write. Doing nothing may be preferable if engaging with drug detention centers amounts to what the authors call a "rotten compromise."

They conclude that leaders of health-related organizations should evaluate how their programs can promote health in drug detention centers, and also how or whether their work might make conditions much worse. Given that health-related resources are limited, the authors suggest that the leaders ask themselves, "might the resources in this instance be better served by efforts to keep individuals out of detention centers in the first instance?"


Contact: Michael Turton
845-424-4040 x242
The Hastings Center

Related medicine news :

1. Circuit regulating anti-diabetic actions of serotonin uncovered by UT Southwestern researchers
2. U of M researchers find learning in the visual brain
3. Researchers discover important link between adrenal gland hormone and brain in hypertension
4. Hebrew University researchers discover expanded role for cancer-causing gene
5. Researchers expand cyberspace to fight chronic condition in breast cancer survivors
6. Researchers led by St. Michaels Hospital receive grant to teach new method of CPR
7. Fox Chase researchers identify risk factors for the spread of breast cancer to lymph nodes
8. Mayo researchers find mortality rates from liver diseases underestimated
9. Inhaled steroids increase diabetes risk, say Lady Davis Institute researchers
10. Researchers develop successful method for extracting and archiving patient radiation dose info
11. Potential new treatment for deadly nipah and hendra viruses identified by Weill Cornell researchers
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... TyloHelo Inc , ... accessories. , Sauna accessories help improve the bather experience in the sauna, and ... styles for the purist looking for simplicity in design to accessories that encourage ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... According to an article published November 10th by ... heralded as a breakthrough for performing hernia repairs. The article explains that the biggest ... that it can greatly reduce the pain that a patient might otherwise experience after ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... The McHenry County law firm ... appellate decision obtained by Attorneys Francisco J. Botto and Alex C. Wimmer. Attorneys Botto ... Compensation Comm’n, 2015 IL App (2d) 130884WC. , According to court documents, Adcock testified ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Brillianteen, McGaw ... and learning in its 65th Anniversary Brillianteen Revue, scheduled for March 4-6, 2016. ... For 65 years, Brillianteen has been a treasured tradition for numerous families in ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... In honor of Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness ... groups responsible for advancing care for pulmonary hypertension (PH) patients and helping to ... will receive special recognition throughout 2016 as part of PHA’s 25th anniversary celebrations. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "Global ... to their offering. --> ... "Global Brain Monitoring Devices Market 2015-2019" ... Research and Markets ( ) ...
(Date:11/25/2015)...  Linden Care, LLC, a retail specialty pharmacy focused ... suffering from chronic pain, said today that it is ... (TRO) enjoining Express Scripts from unilaterally terminating the Pharmacy ... --> --> The company said that ... --> --> In ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015  Henry Schein, Inc., the world,s ... office-based dental, medical and animal health practitioners, will unveil ... Henry Schein ConnectDental® Pavilion , which brings together ... open solutions designed to help any practice or laboratory ... for a schedule of experts appearing at the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: