Spirituality and Prison Health Care

Subject: Public Health
Pages: 4
Words: 854
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College

According to Dossey and Keegan (2013), “healing involves physical, mental, social and spiritual processes of recovery, repair, renewal and transformation” (p. 60). Dr. Donald Moss implies that the science-based inquiries of the convergence between spirituality and providing health care are not predominantly innovative, quoting the study of scientist Francis Galton written two centuries ago; in this article, he conducted a study searching the impacts of intercessory hope on the health of the patient.

In the specialized facilities, such as sanatoriums, seminaries, and prisons the implementation of a spiritual context (religious considerations) is accustomed by the influences outside the individual selection of a person. Medical condition itself, the prison setting, the prearranged medicine, and frequently even the health care workers are independent of the inmates’ selection. These are the prearranged circumstances, not of the inmates’ selection that curative distress outcomes either positively or undesirably.

This is challenging not only for the inmate patient but the health care worker as well. Frequently, a spiritual facilitator, well-informed of the methods and conducts of the institution and conceivably unidentified to the inmate, helps with the spiritual life performances (religious considerations in the prison health care) when an individual is admitted. The faith approach and religious recitals that the spiritual facilitator embodies and sustains are documented as significant to the welfare and health of the inmate.

The discourse between health care and the issue of faith has the mutual good intentions for every individual for its key determination. It assumes that scholarship and belief do not oppose one another. Both concepts are founded on the basis of admiration for actuality and self-determination. As groundbreaking awareness and innovative technologies develop, every individual is obliged to produce a precise integrity founded on the moral standards to appropriate health care.

According to Dr. Moss (2002), “Christian Science, like certain other denominations, has cultivated prayer for healing. So, even though I like it when the studies show that the effects of prayer are not narrowly limited by denomination, I also think it’s important to pay attention to people who actually cultivate the practice of prayer for healing, whether it’s a spiritual healer, a Christian Scientist or anyone else” (p. 277). The spirituality needs yet to become commonly acknowledged as an indispensable component of the health care structure; however, its sustained application by an increasing section of the inhabitants and rising of continuing incorporation for a cumulative number of medical specialists is reassuring.

Be that as it may, many difficulties still endure when it leads to assimilating spirituality with conservative medical practice in prison health care. The Church is not able to accept and support medical practices, which destabilize the natural, mental, and ethical oaths by which the power of the existence is governed. Catholic health care ministry observes the holiness of existence from the instant of commencement until death.

The Church’s protection of existence includes the children and their mothers during and after the pregnancy, so men, especially those who have committed crimes and served sentences in prison do not fall into this category. The Church’s obligation is understood through its readiness to cooperate with others in order to ease the origins of the great mortality proportion and to deliver tolerable health care to everyone, including inmates.

There are some legal considerations that condition the ethical analysis of the prison health care. Prisoner’s Rights Law defines the rights of prisoners while they are in custody and serving their sentences. A lot of the defined regulations narrate the central human rights and municipal freedoms. The inmates are permitted to obtain medical health care and mental condition management. However, the courses of treatment are solitary mandated to be satisfactory, not the best obtainable or even the typical medical care for people who are outside of imprisonment with the same condition.

From day to day, a countless amount of prisoners behind bars undergo unnecessarily from the absence of admission to acceptable medicinal and mental health care treatment. Chronic diseases remain to be unprocessed, traumas are overlooked, and inmates with severe mental diseases are declined to obtain essential health care. For some prisoners, insufficient medical treatment results in a negligible verdict evolving into a death sentence. The fiasco in providing convicts with admission to required medical care excessively regularly outcomes in catastrophe; the refusal in providing adequate health care disrupts the Constitution of the United States as well.

Almost fifty years ago, the Supreme Court of the United States stated that disregarding an inmate’s severe therapeutic requirements is able to result in a harsh and uncommon sentence, noting that “an inmate must rely on prison authorities to treat his medical needs; if the authorities fail to do so, those needs will not be met. In the worst cases, such a failure may actually produce physical torture or a lingering death.

In less serious cases, denial of medical care may result in pain and suffering, which no one suggests would serve any penological purpose” (Palmer, 2014, p. 31). The devastating amount of people that are currently in prison will eventually be unrestricted. Providing convicts with necessary health care at present results in having an improved healthcare in general.


Dossey, B. M., & Keegan, L. (2013). Holistic nursing: A handbook for practice. Burlington, Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Ethical and religious directives for catholic health care services. (2009). Web.

Moss, D. (2002). The circle of the soul: The role of spirituality in health care. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 27(4), 273-286.

Palmer, J. (2014). Constitutional rights of prisoners. London, United Kingdom: Routledge.