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Medical Neglect in South Carolina Jails and Prisons
Medical neglect is a huge issue in South Carolina prisons. Inmates are often not given proper medical care, and when they are, it is often inadequate. This can lead to serious health problems and, in some cases, death.
Numerous lawsuits have been filed against the state over medical neglect in its prisons, and the state has been ordered to make changes on multiple occasions. However, the problem persists. Inmates are still not getting the medical care they need, and the situation worsens.
The state needs to do more to address this problem. It needs to provide better medical care to inmates and hold prison staff accountable for neglect. Otherwise, the situation will only worsen, and more inmates will suffer.
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According to the universal citation, SC Code § 24-7-110 (2013): The governing body of each county shall provide access to institutional medical personnel whenever necessary to render medical aid to sick inmates, whether awaiting trial or serving a sentence. This will help preserve the health of inmates in the county jail, detention facility, prison camp, or other local facilities. All fees and expenses for medical services and prescribed medications will be paid using available funds.
The Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects inmates from mistreatment and unusual punishment. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that severe neglect of a prisoner’s medical needs can be classified as cruel and unusual punishment. This is especially harmful to inmates because they rely entirely on prison staff to care for their health-related needs. If these officials do not uphold their duty, it could result in the inmate experiencing intense pain, suffering, or even death.
Examples of Medical Mistreatment
There are countless examples of inmate medical mistreatment across the United States. In some cases, inmates are denied basic medical care, leading to preventable illnesses and even death. In other cases, inmates are subjected to cruel and inhumane treatments, such as being denied pain medication or being left in solitary confinement for extended periods of time.
Every case is different when it comes to medical treatment in prison. Incarcerated people aren’t entitled to every type of medical care they request. Instead, courts have found that deliberate indifference to serious medical needs is shown by:
- Denying or delaying access to qualified medical professionals
- Failing to follow medical orders
- Making treatment decisions based on non-medical factors in an unjustifiable way
- Failing to make necessary inquiries to make professional judgments about medical care
Inmates must inform prison officials about their medical conditions as soon as possible to ensure the best possible care. Providing written documentation with as many details as possible will help avoid any issues should the need for treatment arise. This can be in the form of sick call requests, written complaints, formal grievances, or medical records.
This complaint report should include crucial details that can be referenced later, such as the date of the complaint, medical history, nature of the complaint, type of care provided, doctor names, and any prescribed follow-up treatment.
Contact Allen Law to Schedule a Consultation
If you or someone you love is an inmate in prison or jail, and you believe they are not receiving the medical care they need, it is vital to contact a lawyer immediately. Medical neglect in prisons and jails can lead to severe and even life-threatening health problems, and getting help as soon as possible is essential. An experienced prison medical neglect attorney at Allen Law can help you investigate the situation and hold the responsible parties accountable. Contact us today at (843) 882-5005.