Do Wounded Criminals Get Medical Treatment?
17 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2020
Date Written: April 6, 2019
Criminals who suffer gunshot wounds that are not life-threatening may avoid medical treatment because medical personnel are legally required to report the treatment to police, which is likely to lead to a police interrogation as to how the patient received the wound. This implies that counts of nonfatal gunshot wound victims based on medical data are too low. In two surveys of jail inmates, however, nearly all who admitted to having been shot claimed to have gone to a hospital for treatment. Using surveys to explore this issue is questionable, however, because the reasons criminals would have for not seeking medical care for nonlife-threatening gunshot wounds would also be reasons, if interviewed in jail, for them to either (a) conceal the wounding altogether from jailhouse interviewers, or (b) admit the wounding, but falsely claim they had sought medical care. Suggestions are made to improve methods for addressing this issue.
Keywords: gunshot wounds, medical treatment
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation