I'm caring for an incarcerated patient right in the hospital now, which means he's handcuffed to the bed and has two guards at bedside at all times. He isn't allowed to make phone calls. He was upset that his family didn't know he was in the hospital so I offered to call and update his family, which one of the guards promptly informed me was not allowed without permission from the warden for security reasons which makes sense (e.g., would not want the buddies of a violent gang member finding out he was in the hospital and coming to bust him out). Today, I told the patient he might be leaving today and was informed that I'm not allowed to tell him that, I have to tell the guards first and get their permission to tell the patient. Has anyone encountered this kind of thing before? This seems like a blatant restriction of my free speech and I would be surprised if it's an actual enforceable law/statute. More importantly it interferes with my duty to my patient as I need to be able to speak with him openly about the plan of care and follow up. Curious to hear if anyone has had similar experiences. I'm in the USA.
Disclaimer: I'm not looking for legal advice here, I know where to find the lawyers of reddit if I need them.
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