Care for Incarcerated Pregnant People With Opioid Use Disorder: Equity and Justice Implications

Chris Ahlbach, Carolyn Sufrin, Rebecca Shlafer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

With the simultaneous rise in maternal opioid use disorder (OUD) and the incarceration of pregnant people in the United States, we must ensure that prisons and jails adequately address the health and well-being of incarcerated pregnant people with OUD. Despite long-established, clear, and evidence-based recommendations regarding the treatment of OUD during pregnancy, incarcerated pregnant people with OUD do not consistently receive medication treatment and are instead forced into opioid withdrawal. This inadequate care raises multiple concerns, including issues of justice and equity, considerations regarding the legal and ethical obligations of the provision of health care, and violations of the medical and legal rights of incarcerated people. We offer recommendations for improving care for this often-ignored group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)576-581
Number of pages6
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Volume136
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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