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Judge: Westmoreland prison did not violate diabetic inmate's rights

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

While a former inmate may disagree with how the medical staff at the Westmoreland County Prison treated his diabetes, that treatment didn't violate his constitutional rights, a federal judge ruled today.

U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer adopted a report by U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy Bissoon that while the prison staff took away Aaron Barto's insulin pump, the staff of the prison's medical contractor, NaphCare Inc., regularly monitored his blood sugar and provided him with three to four insulin shots daily.

Barto, 32, of Latrobe claimed in his lawsuit that taking away his insulin pump caused his blood sugar levels to reach dangerously high levels and led to seizures.

He also claimed that the prison guards placed him in a "suicide watch" cell because they thought he was faking the seizures, but Bissoon's report said they put him in an unlocked cell so that the medical staff could constantly monitor him on the camera, and he was free to roam out of the cell.

Bissoon concludes in her report to Fischer that, at most, Barto could claim medical malpractice but not a violation of his constitutional rights.



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