[Pnews] Mumia Abu-Jamal Hearing tomorrow 12/18 - the DOC refuses lifesaving treatment for Hep C

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Dec 17 16:13:32 EST 2015

*Medical Neglect nearly killed Abu-Jamal in March; Now the DOC refuses 
lifesaving treatment


      Join us at the Courthouse!

We will be inside and outside of the courtroom to demand justice for 
Mumia. Please join us if you can:

*Friday, December 18 at 9:30am EST* in the courtroom (room TBD)
*Middle District Federal Court of Pennsylvania:* 235 N Washington Ave, 
Scranton, PA 18503.

In the fall, attorneys for political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal filed a 
motion for preliminary injunction in “Abu-Jamal vs. Kerestes” today with 
Judge Robert Mariani in the Middle District of Pennsylvania seeking a 
federal court order to ensure that prison medical staff provide 
immediate life- saving hepatitis C treatment to Mumia Abu-Jamal. 
Abu-Jamal is incarcerated at SCI Mahanoy in Frackville PA. Please see 
today’s filings here as well as the first amended complaint here.

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) medical staff and DOC 
counsel have refused Abu-Jamal’s demand for treatment and denied letters 
from his lawyers and independent doctors documenting the critical need 
for immediate treatment. Medically necessary treatment for hepatitis C 
consists of new antiviral drugs that have a 95% cure rate, and consists 
of one pill per day over the course of 12 weeks with minimal side effects.

Blood tests for the Hepatitis C viral load done in July at the 
insistence of Abu-Jamal, his lawyers, and consulting doctors have 
confirmed that Abu-Jamal has active hepatitis C, which is most likely 
the underlying cause of his year-long, escalating health crisis.

Mumia Abu-Jamal remains weak and sick in the prison infirmary. He is 
currently receiving palliative treatment for a persistent and 
debilitating skin condition that is itchy and painful, which remains a 
serious issue, and is receiving no treatment for the underlying 
condition. Mr. Abu-Jamal has already suffered two hospitalizations, one 
a near fatal episode after SCI Mahanoy’s medical staff refused to treat 
or even monitor his dramatic and dangerously excessive blood glucose 
level, leading to diabetic shock. Every day that medically indicated 
treatment is denied carries the significant risk of continued and 
irreversible injury.


On March 30, 2015, Abu-Jamal was rushed to the hospital after losing 
consciousness and going into diabetic shock. Although prison medical 
staff was aware that Abu-Jamal had a dangerously high blood glucose 
level of 419on 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.

Hepatitis C:

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  filed in the 
Eastern District of Pennsylvania federal court in June 2015. Please see 
the 1st amended complaint Abu-Jamal vs. Kerestes here.

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

Prison Radio
PO Box 411074
San Francisco, CA
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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