• Charlie is an inmate in a state Department of Corrections. He has some medical problems that are not being adequately
addressed and treated. Despite phone calls from family to the prison medical staff requesting medical care, those requests
are ignored. Staff tells the family he’s being taken care of. Charlie is found on his cell floor in a coma and taken to
an outside hospital. Life and death decisions must be made about his care and treatment; decisions Charlie wanted and
intended his family members to be able to make, however, he and his family don’t have the correct documents in place with
the correctional system, prison facility and outside hospital. The reality is they have no say-so and medical and correctional
personnel do not have to provide them with any information of any kind. The family is kept in the dark; wondering and waiting
when they should actually be doing much.
• Sam is an inmate in a state Department of Corrections who was hit in the face with a lock in a sock. He suffered a broken
jaw, broken cheekbone, open wounds and concussion. The broken jaw was wired shut by a dentist who refused to provide anesthetic.
He was given only Ibuprofen for the other injuries and Band-Aids for his open wounds. No x-rays were ordered. Over the succeeding
days and weeks his condition declined to the point where his cuts were infected, he was confused, slurring his words, unable to
dress himself, walk by himself or feed himself. He was wheeled out to the visiting room where family members witnessed in horror
his declining health. They were relentless in attempting to get him the medical care he needed but were ignored; their phone calls
were never returned.
Sam is moved to the prison infirmary and within minutes he is having seizures. Only then is he transported via ambulance
to an outside hospital but without medical records. Hospital ER doctor has no information as to his medical history leading
up to his admittance to the hospital. His calls to the prison for information and records are ignored. Sam undergoes x-rays.
His infected wounds are treated but on admittance it’s discovered he has contracted MRSA. Against hospital recommendation,
prison medical personnel have him transported back to the prison within 24 hours, and readmitted to the infirmary. His health
continues to decline. Within days he’s assigned to hospice. Family members find out his whereabouts from another inmate,
call the prison and demand answers. They are given none. The family demands to be able to visit but that visit request is
ignored by prison administrators for days. Once approved, they arrive to find Sam’s weight down from 190 to 155 pounds.
He’s in a room with no personal belongings, no radio, no television. No bathroom. His voice is weak, he’s having trouble
breathing and his face is swollen. Staff puts a food tray on his side table where he cannot reach it. Family members ask
if nursing staff are coming in to feed him since he can’t feed himself. Nurse’s answer: “unless he fills out a request
form for assistance we don’t do it.” Sam can’t fill out the request form because he’s too weak to hold the pencil and he
can’t lift his head. If he can’t fill out the form, then he can’t eat.
Within days Sam is put on a ventilator. Family is
contacted and told that he will most likely die before they get back for another visit. They are demanding a second opinion
and answers. Both are denied. They visit again and demand yet again a second opinion and state outright they do not want him
taken off the ventilator until they have a second opinion and until they visit again. Medical says nothing in response. Within
24 hours they are notified that Sam has died. Within that same time period the family receives an anonymous phone call telling
them that medical staff removed the ventilator soon after they left.