[Pnews] Mumia Abu-Jamal files suit over prison’s refusal to provide medical care

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Aug 4 10:21:10 EDT 2015


        *Mumia Abu-Jamal files suit over prison’s refusal to provide
        medical care*

*/Untreated diabetes nearly killed Abu-Jamal in March, and the DOC is 
refusing to treat his active Hepatitis C. /*

August 3, 2015: Attorneys for political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal filed 
an amended lawsuit 
<https://abolitionistlawcenter.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/abu-jamal-v-kerestes-et-al-amended-complaint.pdf> 
yesterday in the Middle District of Pennsylvania federal court to 
challenge prison medical staff’s denial of necessary medical treatment – 
denial that nearly killed Abu-Jamal earlier this year.

See Plaintiff’s Motion to Amend Complaint 
<https://abolitionistlawcenter.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/motion-to-amend-complaint.pdf> 
and the Amended Complaint 
<https://abolitionistlawcenter.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/abu-jamal-v-kerestes-et-al-amended-complaint.pdf>.

On March 30, 2015, Abu-Jamal was rushed to the hospital after losing 
consciousness and going into diabetic shock. Although prison medical 
staff were aware that Abu-Jamal had a dangerously high blood glucose 
level of 419 on March 6, they failed to treat, monitor, or even inform 
Abu-Jamal of his condition. Glucose levels like those that Abu-Jamal had 
can result in diabetic shock, diabetic coma, and death.

Abu-Jamal’s diabetic shock came in the midst of an escalating year-long 
health crisis that began with a rash in August 2014. The skin condition 
grew in intensity over the course of the next several months, eventually 
covering most of his body with a painful, severe rash that is resistant 
to conventional treatments. The skin condition is abnormal in its 
duration and intensity, and has led to lesions, open wounds, and swelling.

The lawsuit filed yesterday seeks injunctive relief for prison medical 
staff’s failure to treat Abu-Jamal’s active Hepatitis C. Recent blood 
tests provided at the insistence of Abu-Jamal, his lawyers, and 
consulting doctors have confirmed that Abu-Jamal has active Hepatitis C, 
which has likely been the underlying cause of his health crisis. Despite 
the undeniable medical evidence that he is in need of treatment for his 
Hepatitis C, prison medical staff is refusing to provide any.

Advances in Hepatitis C treatment in recent years have revolutionized 
the way the disease is treated, with new direct-acting anti-viral 
medications that have had over 95% success rates in curing the illness 
in clinical trials. The medications, however, are extraordinarily 
expensive in the United States due to monopoly pricing practices by the 
pharmaceutical companies that have patented them.

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has yet to promulgate a new 
protocol for treating Hepatitis C with the new medications, meaning that 
the estimated 10,000-plus people in DOC custody who have Hepatitis C are 
not receiving any treatment.

This issue is the subject of a class action lawsuit 
<https://abolitionistlawcenter.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/chimenti-v-doc.pdf> 
filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania federal court in June 2015.

Abu-Jamal is represented by Bret Grote of the Abolitionist Law Center 
and Robert J. Boyle of New York City.


*http://us7.campaign-archive1.com/?u=b7743030d2038aa756db08f5d&id=ec0fe8b8ee&e=8271292659*


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