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Thursday, September 08, 2016

Ind. Gov't. - "Medical care in Indiana prisons draws scrutiny" by en banc CA 7

Virginia Black reports today in an important story the South Bend Tribune:

CHICAGO — Did the private company hired to provide medical care to Indiana inmates let Nicholas Glisson die after 37 days in prison by deliberately not coordinating his many health issues?

In a rare hearing Wednesday before the entire U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, 10 judges took turns peppering attorneys with questions before they decide whether an Indiana district judge erred when she decided the answer to that question was “No.”

At stake is whether a decision to overturn the district court — allowing a jury to decide the case — will set a precedent for other prisoner medical cases in the Seventh District, which includes Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.

In Glisson’s case, which was featured in a Tribune series in June titled “Profits over prisoners?”, the 50-year-old Centerville, Ind., man had endured surgeries and other treatments for medical conditions that included laryngeal cancer. This was before he was sent to prison in 2010 for his first-time conviction on drug dealing, for giving a friend one of his Oxycontin pills.

Glisson, who had a tube inserted in his trachea along with other accommodations, was still able to care for himself at home. But doctors warned the judge who sentenced him that sending the man to prison would amount to a death sentence.

Their warnings turned out to be prophetic. After Glisson was sent to the Department of Correction, a federal civil rights lawsuit alleges, some symptoms were ignored and no plan was devised to care for the medically fragile inmate.

Corizon Health, the private company Indiana’s DOC hires to provide health care, acknowledges it does not follow a DOC directive to create plans to care for seriously ill prisoners, Indianapolis civil rights attorney Michael Sutherlin told the judges, and that amounts to a policy to provide inadequate care.

More from the story:
Judges by turns interrupted and questioned Sutherlin and Richard Moore, an attorney whose firm represents Corizon, as they referred to their earlier, extensive briefs on the issue.

Those questions included who wrote the DOC health care directives laid out in the DOC’s contract with Corizon, including the directive to create health care treatment plans for chronically ill prisoners, and whether that is generally expected in medical care outside prisons.

There is more to read in the long story.

See also this June 12th story
by reporter Black headed "Inmate dies after 37 days in Indiana prison: Court grants rare rehearing of his case."

Here is the ILB summary of the original, Feb. 17th ruling by a 2-1 7th Circuit panel. The ILB emphasized this sentence from Chief Judge Wood's dissent:

Nicholas Glisson may not have been destined to live a long life, but he was managing his difficult medical situation successfully until he fell into the hands of the Indiana prison system and its medical-care provider, Corizon.
Here is a direct link to the audio of the oral argument yesterday before the entire, 10-member 7th Circuit, 15-1419, Alma Glisson v. Correctional Medical Services.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 8, 2016 12:06 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions | Indiana Decisions | Indiana Government