Health care providers hired by Arizona Department of Corrections to service inmate’s medical needs appear to do more harm than good.
There is a consistent pattern of medical neglect characterized by a plethora of malpractice lawsuits. Many inmates in A.D.O. C’s penitentiaries have died, needlessly leaving behind small children, families, and friends.
Many of the victims of A.D.O.C.’s third world type of health care system were “short-timers” in prison. other inmates suffer tremendously having to endure a medieval kind of misery, forced to live with under-treated illnesses both minor and major. many inmates who are required to take medications design to keep them alive have made numerous administrative complaint against the prison’s medical providers stating: “The provider” continue to allow are prescriptions to expire and waiting days to renew mandatory medications”. Consequently, countless inmates have suffered hospitalization and some have lost their lives, stolen by A.D.O.C.’s thief in the night, their medical providers.
The medical providers use by A.D.O.C. are protected by their corporation status of L.L.P. or L.L.C. and appear to not regard the consequences of potential tort suits.
In fact, one morning in August 2012 while incarcerated in A.D.O.C.’s complex located in Tucson in the Cimarron unit, inmate Benjamin Johnson Woke up to discover his left arm was severely swollen. From Johnson’s left elbow down to the tip of his left wrist, his arm was blown up to the size of a man’s thigh. Immediately, Mr. Johnson alerted Cimarron medical staff to an awareness of his disturbing and precarious discovery. The nurse on-call that morning took Mr. Johnson’s vitals. The nurse told Johnson, that because his vitals appear to be normal, her own diagnosis was, he probably tore a muscle in his arm exercises. She explained to Johnson that a torn muscle was not life-threatening. So, she could not do anything for him. The nurse asked Johnson to leave. Benjamin Johnson returns to his cell. He was in pain and not satisfied with the nurse’s nonsense reasoning walked back to medical and demanded to be taken to the hospital or be seen by a ‘real’ doctor. Cimarron’s medical staff incessantly refused Johnson medical request, insisting that his issue was minor and did not require the attention Johnson believed it did.
Mr. Johnson was asked to leave once more; he was told an arrangement would be made for him to see the doctor in a couple of days. Johnson refused to leave and ardently demanded medical attention. Therefore, staff members initiated what is called an I.C.S. (incident command system). This I.C.S. pull the attention of the upper echelon of authority in Cimarron toward. Mr. Johnson, thus highlighting his precarious medical issue. Sergeant (anonymous) appeared on the scene. The sergeant question Johnson about his refusing to leave medical. Johnson’s response was enough for the sergeant to make the necessary arrangements to have Mr. Johnson immediately transported to U of a Medical Center in Tucson Arizona.
Interestingly, the doctor Who treated Benjamin Johnson said, “sir. You don’t have a torn muscle. Your arm is swollen because you have a major blood clot and it is traveling fast. Had you come two- hours later you would have died. In addition, Mr. Johnson remained hospitalized for over four months. Truly, a reckless performance by A.D.O.C.’s medical provider. A performance that nearly closed the curtain on a forty-one-year-old man’s life, needlessly (Johnson, Benjamin). Personal Interview. 2, July 2013).
Arizona Department of Corrections reported negligence in providing health care for an inmate affects not only prisoners but their families as well, for example.
According to Johnson V. State.
Vicki Johnson had been in the custody of the A.D.O.C. since September 17th, 2004. While incarcerated, Ms. Johnson became ill and asked to be seen by medical staff. For no apparent reason, there was a substantial delay in medical care provided to Ms. Johnson, which caused Ms. Johnson to become seriously ill in November of 2005 and was taken to Banner Estrella hospital for emergency medical treatment. Upon further information and belief; Vicki Johnson suffered brain damage due to lack of oxygen and remained in a persistent vegetative state during her entire Hospital stay. She was eventually taken to a long-term care Facility where she remained until her death on March 16th, 2006. Ms. Johnson’s cause of death was bilateral pulmonary edema and congestion with bronchopneumonia. Had Ms. Johnson receive the proper medical care she needed, her death and needless suffering would have been avoided. Ms. Johnson was scheduled to be released from custody just a few months and leaves behind her mother and six children.
(Johnson V. State).
The poor health care provided to inmates in prison takes Mother’s and Father’s away from their children for no reason other than avoidable negligence. In fact, A.D.O.C. and their medical providers should be held accountable for child abuse; A.D.O.C. creates the suffering children incur when the parents they love and cherish are forced to Forfeit their lives because the department responsible for damages to be responsible. The word forfeit is defined in Webster’s Collegiate dictionary as, 1. Something surrendered as punishment for a crime, offense, error, or breach of contract; sounds like double jeopardy to me. A.D.O.C.’s negligence kills an inmate in the spirit of their children and loved ones.
The indigent health care provided to inmates seem to be of no consequence to the state agency A.D.O.C. providing adequate healthcare is not a primary concern of the said agency, but to appropriate cheap medical coverage is A.D.O.C.’s Chief concern in this area. Despite the known lethal ramifications that come to fruition as a result of cutting healthcare concerns, A.D.O.C. shows no empathy for the sanctity of human life. According to N.P.R. ” Arizona’s annual operating budget for 2013 was eight billion dollars’ aval and one-fourth of that was allocated to A.D.O.C ‘S annual operating budget”. This seems obvious that less than 1% of A.D.O.C.’s fiscal budget goes towards adequate inmate health care. Equally important, inmates are charged a four-dollar fee every time one visit A.D.O.C.’S medical for any reason.
The fee is debited from the Prisons inmate trust account A.K.A. books. Someone on the outside looking in may include that four dollars is very cheap for medical service, but they may not take account that thousands upon thousands of inmates paying four dollars to accumulate into millions of dollars fast. Further, Arizona’s tax payers hard earned monies are supposed to be used to post for inmate’s healthcare and this is being done! The problem is, the general tax-paying AZ, public is taxed singularity. However, the friends and family member of A.D.O.C.’s inmates are being double taxed.
To illustrate, mom has a son in prison. She put forty dollars on her son’s books, he visits medical two times in two weeks. Eight dollars will be deducted from his account. Taxpayer mom has paid twice for her son’s Medical Care, (1) through her state income tax deductions and (2) from A.D.O.C.’s deductions taken from her son.
Another sad case of death by A.D.O.C. medical incompetence is the Shannon Backus Vs. A.D.O.C. according to Backus V. State:
Mrs. Shannon Backus biological father Gerald Dun ford died in A.D.O. C’s Complex-Florence in the East unit. Mr. Dun ford complained of a pain in his hip for months, as early as September 2004. Dun ford was examined by Quirino Valero’s M.D. who failed to diagnose that Mr. Dun ford had an infection.
On April 14th, 2005, Dun ford was rushed to the emergency room of St. Mary’s Hospital in Tucson where he was diagnosed with blood poisoning due to the longevity of the infection and lack of treatment. Mr. Dun ford was diagnosed with osteomyelitis of the femur and kidney failure and was placed on life support. As a direct and proximate result of the negligence of Quirino Valeros M.D. and the Department of Corrections, Mr. Dun ford died October 18th, 2005… Mr. Dun ford was born January 15th, 1947. He was 58 years old at the time of his death. A person between 58 and 59 years old has a life expectancy of 23.6 years according to mortality tables (Backus V. State).
In the same year A.D.O.C.’s medical provider failed to diagnose the life-threatening intumescent Mr. Benjamin Johnson left arm, an appalling incident occurred in D.O.C’s Lewis complex located in Buckeye Arizona; a nurse trained to perform standard blood work on patients used one needle to draw blood from over one hundred inmates unchecked before she was stopped. The incidents of death, near death, and gross acts of medical negligence mentioned in this work exhaustive; perhaps only gently scratching the surface. I do hope this essay will act as a springboard so, Arizona’s residence may jump into action and move A.D.O.C. to contrive methods that will increase the quality of healthcare inmates receive. Prisoners are human beings, American citizens, husbands, wives, mother, father, and grandparents. Let’s not wait until another six children lose their mom or dad because the health providers hired by A.D.O.C. to service you may help me do more harm than good.
Cates, Hanson, Sergeant & Rakestraw P.L.C. by Leslie L. Rakestraw “Backus V. State”‘ Caselawfindlaw.com March 19, 2009. Web. 31 June 2013
Johnson, Benjamin. Personal Interview. 2 July 2013.
National Public Radio.Natl. Public Radio (NPR) N.D. web. 16 June 2013
Robbins & Curtin, P.L.L.C, by Joel B. Ribbons
“Rosemary Johnson, on behalf of herself and as biological mother of Vickie Johnson deceased, V. State of Arizona a political entity;
“Arizona Department of Corrections”
Caselaw.findlaw.com July 17, 2008. Web 31 June 2013.
Staff Writer; Akira Lyons