A Lecture by Homer Venters, MD, MPH
The Medical Humanities, Arts, and Ethics Series
COVID-19 has made clear a simple truth that had eluded medical thinking for years: incarceration harms health. As the novel coronavirus sweeps across the country, it causes thousands of preventable infections and numerous deaths among prison and jail staff and detained people alike.
As Chief Medical Officer for New York City’s jails, physician, epidemiologist, and human rights advocate Homer Venters learned firsthand that incarceration drives adverse health outcomes not only for the people who are detained but also for those who work in correctional settings and who live in the surrounding communities.
With attention on the coronavirus tragedy, Dr. Venters is urging physicians and public health officials to join efforts to achieve long-term improvements in prison healthcare, and to promote accountability and decarceration. His commitment to protecting his patients and his stories of their struggles—and of the ethical dilemmas that confront prison doctors—will move and inspire you.