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Journal Article

Citation

Filho EA, Garrafa V. Dev. World Bioeth. 2002; 2(1): 28-37.

Affiliation

SQN 309 Bloco 'B' Ap. 310, 70755-020 - Brasilia - Distrito Federal, Brazil. eabdalla@ambr.com.br

Copyright

(Copyright © 2002, John Wiley and Sons)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

12872768

Abstract

Psychiatric examinations in official institutions of the Brazilian government include examinations of individual convicts--some of whom are highly dangerous--carried out by court decision. These individuals are taken handcuffed under police escort from penitentiaries to the examination site. In most Brazilian states, medical examiners or experts adopt the basic procedure of asking the police officers to remove the handcuffs from the convict for the examination to be carried out. This article analyzes, from the bioethical standpoint, the behavior of 49 forensic psychiatrists in eight Brazilian states in relation to procedures adopted as protection measures against any possible danger posed by their examinees. In the context of a developing country, where sophisticated protection means are not available, the practice of keeping convicts handcuffed during such examinations is compared to other measures and more advisable alternatives are discussed from the ethical standpoint. Considering the dilemma between showing minimum respect for the autonomy of examinees and ensuring the security of examiners, the need to adopt equitable procedures based on the recognition of the different needs of examiners and examinees is addressed.


Language: en

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