Psychiatry and the dying prisoner

Annette Hanson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Due to the growing number of ageing prisoners in the American correctional system, penal institutions are increasingly caring for patients with chronic and potentially terminal medical conditions. To address this problem states have attempted sentencing reform initiatives and adopted compassionate release programmes; however, these efforts have failed to significantly reduce the number of elderly or seriously ill inmates. Correctional mental health services are now called upon to aid in the care of prisoners at the end of life. This article presents the common elements of prison hospice programmes and the role psychiatry plays in this multidisciplinary effort. The right-to-die movement holds future implications for correctional mental health professionals. The historical and legal background of this international movement is presented with particular attention given to landmark cases and statutes protecting institutionalized patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-50
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Review of Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Prison
  • assisted suicide
  • bereavement
  • decisional capacity
  • end of life
  • hospice
  • mental illness
  • palliative care
  • prisoner
  • right to die

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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