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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Super-Max Prisoner on Hunger Strike


 [UPDATE 11/7: According to the Lynds, Rayshan is getting medical attention and has resumed eating, but still wants to raise awareness and organize around the lack of proper medical care at OSP]

Rayshan Watley, #347-921, is a prisoner at the Ohio State Penitentiary.  On July 2, 2010, he went on a hunger strike because he was denied treatment recommended by medical specialists.

   As of October 26, 2012, Mr Watley is once again going on hunger strike for being denied medical care. See the complaint he filed in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas (attached).

   Please call Warden David Bobby at OSP (330) 743-0700 and tell him you support Rayshan and all other prisoners at OSP getting better medical care.

    The handwritten complaint is difficult to read. However, based on the allegations of the complaint, it would appear that Mr. Watley is being denied adequate medical care at OSP and that some of his complaints are of a kind that would affect other prisoners as well as himself. Alice Lynd has summarized the following issues alleged in Mr. Watley's complaint:

    Mr. Watley has an AC joint separation that was diagnosed through an MRI.  A physical therapist ordered a therapeutic band but the former institutional medical director stopped the theraband order.  Watley's shoulder pain has gotten worse.  He has complained repeatedly but, regardless of what the MRI shows, the doctors will not treat or provide pain medication for his shoulder.
    Watley's wrist was injured by officers in a use of force incident.  Watley's wrist has a torn ligament. The doctor told Watley he knows Watley is in pain but he is not going to treat Watley or provide pain medication. Watley has made several requests to be sent to a specialist or to get an MRI done on his wrist to see what is causing the pain. Those requests were refused.
    16) Watley has an ACL and/or MCL, damage to his left knee that causes serious pain. The doctor said he would not treat Watley and must pay for pain medication if he wants it.
Denial of Pain Medication
    The ODRC Medical Director ordered Defendants to provide medical care for Watley's injuries and Defendants refused to do so. Watley complained to the health care administrator and deputy warden about being denied medical care.  They responded that Watley is receiving medical care but he is not. Watley says he neither received nor refused a Kenalog injection to his shoulder on 11-30-11. 
    Watley went on a hunger strike for 17 days, April 14-30, 2012, for being denied medical care.  On April 30, Warden Bobby assured Watley that if he came off his hunger strike the Defendants would treat Watley's injuries.  Watley ended his hunger strike but Defendants did not provide medical care for Watley's injuries.]
    Watley was receiving 600 miligrams of Neurontin for nerve damage.  Watley complained about heartburn and ask for Prilosec instead. Watley was told Neurontin would be stopped if he refused a blood test or if the medication was not detected in his system. Watley took the blood test and the medication was detected in his system.  Prilosec was refused and Neurontin was stopped. Neurontin was replaced with Tegretol, but it did not help with numbness.  Watley took Tegretol for a month. It gave him headaches, blurred vision and dehydration. The nurse told him to continue to take Tegretol. Watley is being denied treatment for nerve damage.
    Defendants have a policy and/or protocol that they will not provide pain medication to injured prisoners.  The prisoner must pay for medication.  There are written orders in Watley's medical file that Watley is not to receive pain medication.  He must buy pain medication from the commissary, but he is indigent.  Defendants also have a practice of not providing pain medication that is stronger than Motrin, no matter how much pain the prisoner is in. 
Grounds for Denying Complaints
    Defendants have a systematic scheme to cover up for denying care. They use the fact that the prisoner was seen by a medical professional. If a prisoner complains about not receiving medical care, the complaint will be dismissed on grounds that the prisoner was seen by the medical staff, even though the prisoner was not treated.
Lack of a Full Time Institutional Medical Director
    Defendants refused to hire a full time institutional medical director at OSP.  Instead they hired a nurse practitioner.  Defendants have a physician that comes once a week.

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