Towards equivalent health care of prisoners: European soft law and public health policy in Geneva.
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AbstractPrisoners have a right to health care and to be protected against inhumane and degrading treatment. Health care personnel and public policy makers play a central role in the protection of these rights and in the pursuit of public health goals. This article examines the legal framework for prison medicine in the canton of Geneva, Switzerland and provides examples of this framework that has shaped prisoners' medical care, including preventive measures. Geneva constitutes an intriguing example of how the Council of Europe standards concerning prison medicine have acquired a legal role in a Swiss canton. Learning how these factors have influenced implementation of prison medicine standards in Geneva may be helpful to public health managers elsewhere and encourage the use of similar strategies.