While reviewing the Stanford Prison Experiment (Zimbardo, 2012), I had to stop reading to wipe my eyes dry. As a human being with compassion or other people, I cannot fathom how something like this was even allowed to go on for 6 days. The torture that these students were allowed to endure was atrocious. I see nothing ethical about conducting a study like this due to the fact that there are real prisons with real prisoners that could have been interviewed and studied rather than traumatizing people for the sake of research. I currently work in a forensic psychiatric hospital which is a cross between a psychiatric hospital and a jail; our patients have been charged with a crime but not convicted so they are not technically inmates but rather patients. I can see the difference in how the patients are treated based on the staff’s backgrounds. I come from the medical side of it therefore I don’t see them as inmates who did something bad. On the other hand we have staff that come from prison backgrounds and have worked as guards.
I personally prefer not to know what a patient is being charged with for fear that I will react to them based on what they did, rather than who they are; I can give two examples of this that has already happened. We have one patient who I was already having a rough time dealing with but I did not know what he was in for. After I found out he had been charged with raping a child, I noticed myself looking and acting differently towards this man; I also began to fear him. I also have a female patient who I am around daily who just seems to do things on purpose to get under my skin. I have caught myself lately talking down to this patient as if she is a “normal” human being who knows exactly what she is doing, this is not me nor how I work or treat people so I find myself wondering why? The only thing I can relate this to is stress. I am in a position of control with my patients as we have rules that need to be followed and I have a...
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