For ten days, Randall Davison sought medical care for an infection but was denied access to treatment. Davison’s condition worsened and he ultimately died after having developed liver, renal and respiratory failure.
How does someone die a painful and completely preventable death, when there are — or should be — medical personnel just around the corner?
Davison was incarcerated at Georgia State Prison in Reidsville, and his sister is now suing Georgia Correctional Health, the private company contracted to provide medical care.
The lawsuit, filed earlier this month by the Southern Center for Human Rights, states that, “Despite the beet-red appearance of Mr. Davison’s arm, neck, and chest; the discolored tattoo recently applied to his arm; the tenderness of his chest; his complaints of difficulty breathing and walking; and his numerous pleas for medical care; Defendants refused to treat Mr. Davison on multiple occasions between January 16, 2015, and January 26, 2015.”
The Eighth Amendment — which protects against cruel and unusual punishment — was found to protect against “deliberate indifference” from corrections personnel to the healthcare needs of incarcerated people in the landmark 1976 Estelle v. Gamble case.
Ten days seeking medical care for an infection is outrageous. Dying from an infection due to neglect and indifference is outrageous.
“Mr. Davison died a painful and needless death, after repeated and increasingly desperate pleas for medical care went unheeded. We call on the Department of Corrections to take a close look at medical care and conditions at Georgia State Prison,” said SCHR attorney, Sarah Geraghty, in a press release.
According to a recent report by the Pew Charitable Trust, Georgia spends just over $4,000 annually per inmate on prison healthcare, much lower than the national average of $6,047.
“Mr. Davison died of sepsis and related multi-system organ failure because Defendants deliberately refused him urgent and necessary medical care at the time when the need for emergency care was obvious and his infection was still treatable,” the lawsuit states. He was due to be released the following month.
No one should die this way.