Civil Rights

Healthcare in Prisons

January 13, 2020
Contributors
Zainab Bhindarwala

The Right To Healthcare

The right to healthcare is one of the most hotly debated topics of our time. It is often front-page news and political candidates debate passionately about their views on how to handle this issue. This is an important matter affecting society as a whole, including those who have been removed from society - prisoners. In fact, inmates are guaranteed healthcare when they are incarcerated. The Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm works diligently to ensure prisoners receive this vital service.

A prisoner’s right to healthcare has its roots in the US Constitution. The 8th Amendment gives prisoners the right to be free from “cruel and unusual punishment.” In 1976, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Estelle v. Gamble held that prisoners have the right to adequate medical treatment while incarcerated and that deliberate indifference towards a prisoner’s serious medical needs constitutes a violation of the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the 8th Amendment. Unfortunately, this right is not always honored and there are cases where prisoners have not received timely or adequate healthcare.

The Critical Need For Healthcare In NY Prisons

The need for healthcare in prisonfacilities is crucial for various reasons. First, due to so many individualsbeing confined in such close proximity, prisons can become a breeding groundfor infectious diseases, including the spread of conditions that prisonerscontracted prior to incarceration. Second, inmates are kept in suchclose-quarters that interactions between prisoners can become volatile and can resultin life-threatening injuries. Lastly, inmates do not always receive the medicaltreatment they need in a timely fashion, including continued treatment forpre-existing conditions, and this deliberate indifference can lead to severeinjuries including paralysis, amputations, and even death.

Currently, the Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm is investigating a wide array of medical malpractice cases in prisons. In one case, an inmate was repeatedly denied his HIV medication, putting his health and life at risk. In another case, a prison’s failure to provide medical care to an inmate caused paralysis and a decrease in life expectancy. Yet another case involves an inmate that was not given the mental health treatment that was deemed necessary and consequently committed suicide. In each of these cases, the facility failed to provide adequate and/or timely treatment to these inmates, constituting a violation of their rights under the 8th Amendment.

Jacob Fuchsberg: Fighting For The Rights Of Prisoners

At the Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm, we are committed to fighting cases where the constitutional rights of prisoners are violated. We represent prisoners who are denied life-saving medication or simply denied their right to be seen by a doctor, resulting in severe, and sometimes permanent, injuries. If you or someone you know was the victim of medical malpractice while in prison, reach out to us at 212-869-3500 for a free consultation.