Inmates with Medical Conditions:
I recently received a call about an inmate who has stage 4 cancer and a colostomy bag. The inmate was in a hospital off prison grounds. He is now being sent back to the prison in general population. His family is concerned that the prison can not handle his medical needs. Not all State prisons have a full medical care units.
So many things can go wrong when you have terminally ill diagnosis’s such as cancer. If you have tubes in your chest for chemo and radiation, the area around the tube can become infected very quickly. That infection can cause Staph and Strep infections, MRSA and eventually SEPIS. Not being able to clean out your colostomy bag is a horrible feeling especially if you have to rely on someone else. Medical care in prison is not 24/7. Who will supply the colostomy bags and daily check around his tube area to ensure no infection?
Not being able to do your everyday hygiene and taking care of your basic needs is very dehumanizing. A colostomy bag is one of the worst things you have to deal with. They can break, overflow, fall off and they stink. The emotional trauma of being in general population will be devastating. Chemo and radiation treatments will make you sick all the time. This is also devastating and makes you very weak.
Place to go?
Why do terminally ill inmates have to return to prison? Why can’t they go home, to hospice or another facility other than prison? They can wear an ankle monitor and receive much better care in those places than they can in prison. In those places they will be free of ridicule, harm and emotional trauma. At least in those places they will die with some dignity.
Let me know what your thoughts are?