The state of Oregon is responsible for the health and welfare of each of the inmates who are in the custody of the Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC). Inmates do not have the freedom to seek medical attention on their own, and they rely on doctors within the ODOC. When doctor errors occur, it is possible that an inmate could suffer serious injury or death.
A woman incarcerated at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF) here in Oregon has filed a medical malpractice suit against the state and the doctors who — according to her — did not attend to her until it was too late to save her kidney. Prior to being transferred from a county jail to CCCF on Dec. 17, 2013, an x-ray was taken to determine why the woman was experiencing pain in her abdomen. The images showed that the woman had a large kidney stone, and she repeatedly asked, sometimes in writing, that something be done about her severe pain, bloody urine and fever.
It was not until Oct. 2014 when a correctional officer at the facility advocated for the woman that she finally received the medical care she needed. Unfortunately, by the time she was seen by the proper medical professionals, she had developed an infection and the kidney stone was still present. Removing the kidney was the only viable course of action due to the delay in receiving adequate treatment.
The fact that the woman is incarcerated does not change the fact that the care she received might have been below accepted medical standards. If the court in which she filed the lawsuit agrees, then a ruling in her favor could be entered. Anyone who believes that doctor errors led to irreparable harm, debilitating injury or death might consider filing a medical malpractice suit.
Source: oregonlive.com, “Coffee Creek inmate who had kidney removed files medical malpractice lawsuit against state“, Maxine Bernstein, April 18, 2016