Federal judge says inmate received poor treatment for tumors

In 2001, an inmate at a maximum security prison in Illinois was diagnosed with fibroneuroma, a disease that causes the growth of benign tumors in the peripheral nervous system. When the inmate began to experience pain from the numerous tumors that were growing in his body, he requestedmedical treatment. However, the Stateville Correctional Center inmate claims that the treatment he received from medical professionals was poor. Now he suffers from at least 60 tumors.

The Illinois inmate has since filed a lawsuit against the maximum security prison’s healthcare provider, Wexford Health Sources, and three doctors who were responsible for treating the inmate. The lawsuit claims that because the man did not receive adequate medical care, the facility’s medical provider and doctors subjected the inmate to “cruel and unusual punishment.”

According to the lawsuit, the inmate claims that the prison’s medical provider and three doctors failed to properly treat the man for his pain because his condition was not considered to be life-threatening. In 2003, the man first began to complain of pain caused by the tumors. At the time, he only suffered from three tumors. After being evaluated by doctors, the man was simply prescribed aspirin and ibuprofen to help with the pain.

The inmate claims that he requested more treatment, but was refused anything except aspirin and ibuprofen. Currently, the man suffers from at least 60 tumors.

Wexford Health Sources and the three doctors named in the lawsuit have requested that the case be dismissed, claiming that the treatment was meant to aid the man. The defendants have also argued that the complaint has exceeded the statute of limitations.

On Oct. 17, a federal judge ruled that the case against the medical provider will be dismissed, but the complaint can proceed against the three doctors who were responsible for treating the man. The judge said that the form of treatment was clearly insufficient for his disease. The judge also stated that the case does not exceed the statute of limitations because the doctors continued to violate the standard of care by failing to properly treat the man’s medical condition and his complaints of pain.

Source: Courthouse News Service, “Aspirin Is Poor Choice to Treat Cancer, Judge Says,” Jack Bouboushian, Nov. 2, 2011


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