Mumia Suing for Medical Neglect
by Stephen Lendman
Medical care in US prisons is notoriously deplorable - especially for anyone incarcerated for political reasons.
Mumia Abu-Jamal is seriously ill. In late March, he needed emergency hospitalization after experiencing diabetic shock. Prison authorities knew he had dangerously high blood glucose. No treatment was ordered, nor was he told about his condition. It can cause diabetic coma and death.
He’s coped with other health issues involving skin lesions, painful rashes, open wounds and severe swelling.
Recent blood tests confirmed active Hepatitis C. The Mayo Clinic explains it’s a virus caused infection attacking the liver. It’s “passed through contact with contaminated blood.”
It’s curable if properly treated. It’s the leading lethal chronic virus infection. It can be a death sentence in prison.
Mumia is represented by attorneys Bret Grote and Robert J. Boyle. On August 2, they filed a lawsuit “seek(ing) injunctive relief for prison medical staff’s failure to treat” his active disease, according to freemumia.com
His condition is likely “the underlying cause of his health crisis. Despite the undeniable medical evidence that he is in need of treatment for his Hepatitis C, prison medical staff is refusing to provide any.”
Medications are extremely expensive. A 12-week Harvoni regimen costs over $95,000. Sovaldi treatment costs $84,000 or a $1,000 per pill.
“The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has yet to promulgate a new protocol for treating Hepatitis C with the new medications, meaning that the estimated 10,000-plus people in DOC custody who have Hepatitis C are not receiving any treatment,” freemumia.com explained.
“This issue is the subject of a class action lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania federal court in June 2015.”
Its introductory statement says in part:
“The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC), by policy and practice, systemically denies necessary medical care for inmates diagnosed with Hepatitis C viral infections, thereby placing them at substantial and unnecessary risk for severe illness, injury and death.”
“Plaintiffs bring this action on behalf of themselves and a class of similarly-situated plaintiffs, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state laws against the DOC, prison officials, and medical providers for depriving them of their rights guaranteed by the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, § 13 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) “is responsible for providing adequate medical health services to and creating policies that ensure appropriate medical treatment to Plaintiffs and those similarly situated.”
Failure to treat Hepatitis C can cause cirrhosis, liver cancer and death. Prison authorities want Mumia dead. If legal proceedings drag on too long, he may perish before any chance for help.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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