Montana: Prisoners Not Entitled to Hepatitis Treatment, Court Rules
March 4, 2003
The Montana Supreme Court has denied a prisoner's petition for hepatitis C medication and returned the case to a lower court. The divided court said it needed an official determination of whether prisoner Keith A. Brown's diagnosis is correct. The court also asked for a determination on whether there exists an effective treatment for hepatitis C. "We recognize the seriousness of the medical issue that Brown has raised, but are unable to grant relief given the state of the proceeding before us," said a four-judge majority led by Chief Justice Karla Gray. Brown contends he is dying a painful death in custody and asked justices to impose an immediate death sentence, order medical treatment in prison or grant him medical parole. About 30 percent of Montana's 2,750 inmates suffer from a form of hepatitis. CDC estimates that 14-40 percent of the nation's prisoners have been exposed to hepatitis C, many through injection drug use.Adapted from:
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.