Prisoner placed on transplant list released today
- I am forwarding the exciting news below from the HCVPRISONNEWS Yahoo Groups
list. This is the most wonderful list for folks with a loved one inside who
has hepatitis. It's a news group only - no posting by anyone other than the
moderator - but I STRONGLY recommend it to everyone who has a loved one with
hepatitis who's in prison. It's just chock full of news and good ideas on
how to proceed to try to get help for incarcerated people who have
I don't see the subscribe url in the message, but I think it would be
HCVPRISONNEWSfirstname.lastname@example.org If I'm wrong, please forgive me and
I'll go FIND the right Yahoo Groups page and send it out to anyone who needs
LINDA TANT MILLER
PRISON REFORM UNITY PROJECT (PRUP)
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, November 14, 2002 6:37 AM
> Message: 1
> Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2002 13:23:25 EST
> From: PKBeckinOR@...
Hi. As I think I've told you, we've been working for the last year and 1/2
on a liver transplant case for a Hep C infected inmate. He was released
today. Here's what happened:
A Michigan Hep C infected inmate was released today from a prison in
southern Michigan. The inmate filed suit in the spring of 2001 seeking
damages and immediate injunctive relief in the form of a liver transplant
evaluation and, if warranted, placement on the transplant waiting list. The
inmate was told in 1997 that his only chance of survival was a transplant,
yet the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) refused referral for the
evaluation because, in the words of several MDOC physicians, there were
people more deserving of a liver. MDOC defended on a number of grounds,
including that, the constitution did not require it to pay for a transplant.
After the suit was filed, and under threat of injunction, MDOC slowly
complied with the demands and, in mid-November 2001, the inmate completed
the evaluation and was placed on the transplant waiting list, a first in
Michigan (and likely other states). Just a few days later a routine urine
analysis showed the presence of marijuana use and, as the guard drawing the
sample and MDOC expected, the inmate was immediately removed from the
transplant list with no hope of return. In a court hearing a few days
later, the attorney general stated that the positive urine sample had been
destroyed. A guard also submitted a sworn statement declaring that "there
was no possible chance" that the sample was anybody else's but the inmates.
In fact, the sample was alive and well in a testing facility in Texas.
Subsequent DNA analysis conclusively showed that the "dirty" sample did not
belong to the inmate. Given the guard's statement, intentional tampering is
the inescapable conclusion. So much so that the inmate was immediately
moved, in the words of MDOC, "for his own protection." He was soon placed
back on the transplant list.
This summer the inmate offered to drop his lawsuit in exchange for his
release. He was over 2 years away from his earliest parole date. The
attorney general's office would not commit to the deal and refused to take a
written position on it. Nonetheless, a short time later, the inmate was
credited with enough "good time" to make him immediately parole eligible.
MDOC nor the attorney general have an explanation for this unprecedented
The inmate was released today into the care of his family and real world
The case was prosecuted by the Clinical Law Programs at the University of
Michigan Law School by student attorneys under the supervision of facutly.
For further information, contact Prof. David Santacroce (dasanta@...)