Do Prisoners have a right to health care?
Apr 7, 2013
My son is incarcerated in a Florida Prison, he was diagnose with HIV in 2009,and was given Atripla, last night when came time for his medication, Atripla was not given to him, they refused to give him his dose (on Wednesday April 3, 2013). My son also suffers from Bipolar disorder and is taking Neurontin and Wellbutrin and those medication were taken away from him also. I contacted the Florida Prison just to be told that my son was not be getting these medication and to live with it, that my son has had his own way long enough, the responses that I received from the warden or those in charge in Tallahassee doesn't make any sense, and are just passing this issue to one another as if it was a hot potatoe and are refusing to deal with it, in the meantime my son is suffering without Neurontin which he was taking for nerve pain (since last month) and Wellbutrin which was taken away last month also. He was told that the only medication that he will be getting is Amytriptiline (Elavil) to deal with the Bipolar Disorder. What can I do to get someone to listen and make them give him what he needs. Now as of yesterday they have cut him off Atripla. My son was very healthy boy at the age of 19 when he was arrested back in 2004. If anyone could help me to get the correctional facility to take responsabilities and get the medical to give my son the appropriate medication
Response from Ms. Douaihy
Thank you for writing with this important submission.
The United States Supreme Court has held that under the 8th Amendment of the Constitution, the government is obligated to provide adequate health care to prisoners. Prisoners with HIV/AIDS are no exception and must be provided with satisfactory treatment.
Based on your submitted narrative, it sounds like the correctional facility in question has failed to meet its legal mandate to ensure your son is receiving adequate physical & mental health care. As soon as possible you should contact The Prisoners' Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union for guidance on next steps. I would also advise you to peruse the written resources available for free on the ACLU website, including a Prisoners' Assistance Directory. You very well may need to get an attorney involved to evaluate the legality of the correctional facility's actions and assert your son's rights in a court of law if necessary.
I hope that your son is provided with excellent health care as soon as possible and that you and he are given the respect you both deserve.
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