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Do doctors have to give you your medications in jail or prison?

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

If you are living with a chronic illness and are jailed because of committing a criminal act, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to care for yourself. Whether you are on pain medications or specialty drugs, you deserve to continue on the treatment plan that was prescribed to you previously.

There are often special controls in jails and prisons that limit your access to those medications, but that doesn’t mean that you should have none. For example, if you’re currently prescribed two narcotic medications daily, the jail or prison doctor may decide that you can continue taking them but that you must get them from them directly and take them in front of them.

Prisons have medical clinics to offer reasonable care

The majority of prisons have medical clinics and can provide medical and dental care. However, it is true that the personnel don’t always have as many tools as they would at a private clinic or hospital, for example, and prescriptions may be limited.

What happens if you request a visit to the clinic and it has a delay that results in injury?

In some cases, you may be able to make a claim against the facility or its medical providers. For example, if you requested a medication that you needed and it was not dispensed on time, you could have a serious medical problem as a result. If that happens, you could hold the jail or prison accountable for failing to provide adequate medical care.

If a medical provider refuses to give medications to you that you need, you may also be able to make a medical malpractice claim. For instance, if they are aware you have diabetes but do not provide you with insulin, which could constitute medical negligence.

If you need emergency care, you should be transported to a hospital

Unless the facility was able to provide for ill patients and had the right equipment, failing to transport a patient for emergency medical care could be malpractice or a violation of your rights. It’s worth looking at the facts of the case and discussing the possible options for compensation if you were ill and harmed because of the behaviors of those at the facility.