@JoePinero Prisoners can often cause a lot of ethical dilemma’s when attempting to treat them in the hospital setting. Often times, physicians are reluctant to allow prisoners to sign-out AMA. However, there have been several supreme court cases in the past that have set a solid precedent for allowing this. In brief, here is an interesting, and relatively recent case that might help you the next time a sick prisoner is requesting to sign out AMA.
State vs Reid 2007 ( http://law.ubalt.edu/downloads/law_downloads/Stouffer%20v.%20Reid.pdf )
Reid, sentenced for 40 years, refusing dialysis during his first few years of sentencing with full knowledge that he will not survive without it. The medical doctors went to supreme court in effort to force care and were overruled. Reid was deemed of sound mind and was allowed to forgo dialysis. He would die later that year.
During this case the supreme court ruled that a prisoner is allowed to forgo medical treatment in the event that his decision will not affect those around him. As long as this disease is not communicable, then the prisoner is allowed to refuse any and all forms of care, even if refusing will inevitably result in an early death for the prisoner.
Some good reading on the history of this decision…. http://digitalcommons.law.umaryland.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3540&context=mlr
Daniel R. H. Mendelsohn. The Right to Refuse: Should Prison Inmates Be Allowed to Discontinue Treatment for Incurable, Noncommunicable Medical Conditions?