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  #1  
Old 01-19-2019, 02:35 AM
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Default Husband not getting proper medical care, I feel helpless!

My husband went into prison extremely healthy and with no health issues at all and he was in his mid-20's at that time. His sentence was over ten years and we only have about two years left. I am literally at my breaking point trying to get him to get any sort of medical care that he severely needs. Besides all the small things that have slowly become bigger, and bigger issues (If they would have just addressed these things when they first appeared like any normal doctor would do on the streets many of his issues wouldn't exist) due to lack of proper medical care and just plain neglect he has two very serious health issues that require him needing to see a specialist ASAP but the DOC keeps either denying him seeing the specialists' he needs to see (I've been dealing with this long enough to know all DOC and medical care about is their budget and who cares if people die on their watch, and the few who do care don't have the authority to do anything) and on top of that medical just gives him the runaround about his serious medical issues for the past few years. My dog gets better medical care than my husband is getting. He has been transferred to a few different places over the years and I've had to experience their lack of giving proper medical care at each place he's been. He had to wait almost 3 YEARS to get an MRI approved and they had the nerve to tell me that they give the same medical care as he would receive on the streets. Um... Nope.... My father went into see his primary doctor with way less symptoms than my husband and he was getting an MRI within a couple days and surgery within a month and he had the same condition my husband has. By the time my husband finally got to get an MRI the neurosurgeon couldn't believe he'd been living with what he had been dealing with all those years while the whole time begging just to please find out what was wrong with him. They neglected him so badly that for once the DOC couldn't say no when the neurosurgeon said he needed spine surgery NOW. And even after that they didn't follow any of the post operation instructions so he is still dealing with the fear that something is still extremely wrong and he didn't heal correctly because his symptoms have returned. And he is now at OSP and has been having another very serious issue that could be life threatening and is progressively getting worse but like usual he just keeps getting told, "You're fine." Just like they told him for years before his basically emergency surgery. I have called people in medical at OSP, I have called the Dome building asking to speak to anyone that can help him but NO ONE CARES. They try to pacify me by saying they'll check into it but NOTHING HAPPENS and his symptoms just keep getting worse. Does anyone know who I can talk to to get my husband the medical care he needs? My father is to the point that he is willing to hire an attorney to sue just so my husband can get the health care he needs. But I don't want to have to do that, I just want my husband to be alive and healthy when he comes home. Any advice would be so appreciated, whether ideas of who could help (though I've literally tried to get help from many people at the dome building in Salem with no luck) or as a last resort names of Lawyers that have handled cases against the DOC. It's breaking my heart watching my husband go through all this.
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:42 AM
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I wish I could offer you some solace. The people I know of in similar situations to your husbands didn't get care until, like your husband, it was an emergency situation.

It sounds like you've done everything you could have to get someone to pay attention. There's not much else you can do without going the attorney route. Normally I discourage the attorney route because it tends to make life harder inside. In this case, though, his life/health could be severely impacted, so I would say "get an attorney".

I'm not sure what the best way is to find an attorney, but if it was me, I'd start with looking up which attorneys are working with Oregon's Project Innocence. They've all got a LOT of experience with DOC. Start making phone calls and asking for referrals. One of them will know someone.
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:45 AM
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I moved your thread to the General Prison Talk forum, since this is a DOC-wide issue (insufficient medical care). Hopefully other people will have some ideas for you. You've done all the things I would have suggested. Keep fighting for him.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:36 PM
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Thank you so much for your advice :-)
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Old 06-24-2019, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by S&F1403 View Post
My husband went into prison extremely healthy and with no health issues at all and he was in his mid-20's at that time. His sentence was over ten years and we only have about two years left. I am literally at my breaking point trying to get him to get any sort of medical care that he severely needs. Besides all the small things that have slowly become bigger, and bigger issues (If they would have just addressed these things when they first appeared like any normal doctor would do on the streets many of his issues wouldn't exist) due to lack of proper medical care and just plain neglect he has two very serious health issues that require him needing to see a specialist ASAP but the DOC keeps either denying him seeing the specialists' he needs to see (I've been dealing with this long enough to know all DOC and medical care about is their budget and who cares if people die on their watch, and the few who do care don't have the authority to do anything) and on top of that medical just gives him the runaround about his serious medical issues for the past few years. My dog gets better medical care than my husband is getting. He has been transferred to a few different places over the years and I've had to experience their lack of giving proper medical care at each place he's been. He had to wait almost 3 YEARS to get an MRI approved and they had the nerve to tell me that they give the same medical care as he would receive on the streets. Um... Nope.... My father went into see his primary doctor with way less symptoms than my husband and he was getting an MRI within a couple days and surgery within a month and he had the same condition my husband has. By the time my husband finally got to get an MRI the neurosurgeon couldn't believe he'd been living with what he had been dealing with all those years while the whole time begging just to please find out what was wrong with him. They neglected him so badly that for once the DOC couldn't say no when the neurosurgeon said he needed spine surgery NOW. And even after that they didn't follow any of the post operation instructions so he is still dealing with the fear that something is still extremely wrong and he didn't heal correctly because his symptoms have returned. And he is now at OSP and has been having another very serious issue that could be life threatening and is progressively getting worse but like usual he just keeps getting told, "You're fine." Just like they told him for years before his basically emergency surgery. I have called people in medical at OSP, I have called the Dome building asking to speak to anyone that can help him but NO ONE CARES. They try to pacify me by saying they'll check into it but NOTHING HAPPENS and his symptoms just keep getting worse. Does anyone know who I can talk to to get my husband the medical care he needs? My father is to the point that he is willing to hire an attorney to sue just so my husband can get the health care he needs. But I don't want to have to do that, I just want my husband to be alive and healthy when he comes home. Any advice would be so appreciated, whether ideas of who could help (though I've literally tried to get help from many people at the dome building in Salem with no luck) or as a last resort names of Lawyers that have handled cases against the DOC. It's breaking my heart watching my husband go through all this.
The experience your husband is having was not my experience with the DOC.

First. Call OSP (503) 378-2453, and ask to speak to the Health Care Administrator there. The Health Services Administrator for the whole Oregon DOC is Joe Bugher and he is based out of the DOME building in Salem.

Second. You want to find out a name, and then call and ask ONLY if you can get a HIPPA release of information signed so that the institution can talk to you about your husband's health situation. The institution can't talk with you about any of this without your husband's permission.

Third. Once that has been accomplished, you want to call and get a diagnosis or a copy of the medical history. You can explain that you want to get this reviewed by another physician. And, then you want to get it reviewed by another physician.

Fourth. It might be more helpful to pay for another opinion, or whatever it costs to have your husband taken to see someone else than to hire an attorney. The DOC has an established process of grievances, appeals, etc., before any attornies will be involved. Has your husband filed a grievance?

The DOCs philosophy of health care is to avoid liability. Plain and simple. But you need some facts before you go charging in, and those facts need to come from the system, not from your husband - at least from the standpoint of knowing what they think about the situation.

I am a regular volunteer at OSP, and down there several times a week. Prison health care isn't the bees-knees, but it isn't usually terrible either, at least here in Oregon. You just want to be sure you have all your ducks in a row first before charging off and spending money on an attorney. It's possible it could come to that, but you'd be much more successful if you follow some steps as a prelude to all that.
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  #6  
Old 07-25-2019, 08:04 PM
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The experience your husband is having was not my experience with the DOC.

First. Call OSP (503) 378-2453, and ask to speak to the Health Care Administrator there. The Health Services Administrator for the whole Oregon DOC is Joe Bugher and he is based out of the DOME building in Salem.

Second. You want to find out a name, and then call and ask ONLY if you can get a HIPPA release of information signed so that the institution can talk to you about your husband's health situation. The institution can't talk with you about any of this without your husband's permission.

Third. Once that has been accomplished, you want to call and get a diagnosis or a copy of the medical history. You can explain that you want to get this reviewed by another physician. And, then you want to get it reviewed by another physician.

Fourth. It might be more helpful to pay for another opinion, or whatever it costs to have your husband taken to see someone else than to hire an attorney. The DOC has an established process of grievances, appeals, etc., before any attornies will be involved. Has your husband filed a grievance?

The DOCs philosophy of health care is to avoid liability. Plain and simple. But you need some facts before you go charging in, and those facts need to come from the system, not from your husband - at least from the standpoint of knowing what they think about the situation.

I am a regular volunteer at OSP, and down there several times a week. Prison health care isn't the bees-knees, but it isn't usually terrible either, at least here in Oregon. You just want to be sure you have all your ducks in a row first before charging off and spending money on an attorney. It's possible it could come to that, but you'd be much more successful if you follow some steps as a prelude to all that.
Sadly almost all the things you suggested I have already done as has my husband. You're lucky you have had a positive experience and have gotten the care you needed while you were incarcerated, that is not the case for many people. Read through some of the comments even on this site. A ladies husband had a heart attack and literally died and luckily was brought back after complaining for years about having chest/heart pains and was brushed off and not allowed to see a cardiologist. He had to have I think it was a triple bypass surgery and then they didn't even bring him to his follow up appointment. Just in the Statesman journal a few days ago they had an article about a man who at OSP was severly neglected and not listened too when he said he needed to go to the infirmary because he was so sick from the flu, even the guards called up saying he needed help and they said he could wait. He died the next day from septic shock and his organs failing. They didn't even notify his family of his death, they found out months later. Employees risked their jobs to try to bring light to the neglect that is happening. My husband signed a HIPPA release form for me many years ago so I haven't had an issue talking about his medical issues and re-did another recently (at the advice of a nurse who admitted he wasn't getting the care he needed and that his doctor and others have a history of treating inmates with neglect and indifference) so it was right on top of his file. I have also spoken to the head of the health department there on numerous occasions and was told it would be looked into, now if I call she is "always busy" and will not return my calls or voicemails. He also has sent her Kytes personally about his lack of healthcare and health problems and he has filed grievances as well, nothing has helped. I spoke to a guy there over 3 months ago for over 45 minutes about my husbands issues and all he could guarantee was that he could get my husband looked at for a foot issue my husband has been having for about a year (those are not the two issues that are really concerning). He did get an appointment and his doctor kept making little comments about "his wife calling" and "how his wife is going to be disappointed with this appointment" and literally walked out of the appointment in the middle of my husband speaking without even examining his foot. Another nurse made a comment about how unprofessional the doctor had acted and a guard heard and saw it happen as well and went and told the "head lady" and nothing was done. He's went to sick call many times about his issues and was just told he'd see his doctor eventually. So the dumb foot issue turned into a full blown infection and he could barely walk and it was red, swelling, and had pus coming out of it so the guard in his block called up to say he needed to go see medical now and when he got up there that same doctor glanced at it and said "I'm not doing anything". Finally the nurse who was there basically said, "This isn't right, it's clearly a horrible infection and he needs medical care and antibiotics." The doctor literally said, "Fine, Whatever!" and stomped off. So like usual a small thing that could have been taken care of months ago has turned into a big issue. And he works a very physical job. Yes I have tried to call the dome building but no one will allow me to speak to anyone who has any actual authority to do anything and in the past the few times I have spoken to anyone nothing was done. I have even asked if I can put him on his own insurance or pay out of pocket and pay to have him taken to see a non-DOC doctor and was told no. He also paid to get a copy of his medical records about a year ago and many parts of what was written were inaccurate and obviously written in a way to cover them from liability. They can literally write whatever they want in there. They quoted things he absolutely never said. They wrote he did not have a certain issue that a specialist specifically said he had and needed surgery for (which was denied) which he found further back into his records what the specialist wrote that is NOW not true. I'm just praying he makes it home before the two really serious issues he has doesn't make him paralyzed or kill him.
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Old 07-26-2019, 05:23 AM
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Have you tried to contact the ACLU? They're not fast to respond, but they may be able to help you.
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