Why all the fuss, some have asked, about Major Hasan’s medical treatment while in the Jail Infirmary?
It goes without saying, an inmate has a right to whatever care is necessary to treat serious disabilities. See., e.g., Frost v. Agnos, 152F.3d 1124 (9th Cir. 1998)(holding that a pretrial detainee who wore a leg brace and relied on crutches was entitled to accessible shower facilities); Davis v. Hall, 992 F. 2d 151 (8th Cir. 1993)(inmate sent to facility not equipped to accommodate disability); Hicks v. Frey, 992 F. 2d 1450 (6th Cir. 1993)(paraplegic kept in room, denying mobility and without proper facilities); Mackline v. Freake, 650 F.2d 885 (7th Cir. 1981)(paraplegic given no physical therapy); Leach v. Shelby County Sheriff, 891 F.2d 130 (8th Cir. 1993)(paraplegic inmate given inadequate mattress and no assistance in cleaning himself); Candelaria v. Coughlin, 787 F. Supp. 368, 378 (S.D. N.Y. 1992)(paraplegic had need for “adequate wheelchair and for orthopedic treatment [and] . . . liquid dietary supplement”). See also U.S. Dept of Justice, Federal Standards for Prisons and Jail sec 5.27 (1980); ABA Standards for Justice sec 23.5-1 (commentary)(1986); American Correctional Assn. Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions, Standard 3-4358 (1990); National Commission on Correctional Health Care, Standards for Health Services in Jail J-57 (May 1999); Commission of Accreditation for Corrections, Certification Standards for Health Care Programs (HC-077 (1989). Failure to provide handicapped-accessible facilities can also result in liability. LaFaut v. Smith, 934 F.2d 389 (4th Cir. 1987)(Justice Powell); Weeks v. Chaboudy, 984 F.2d 185, 187 (6th Cir. 1993); Hicks v. Frey, supra ( officer in charge of jail liable because he received daily reports of conditions). It is clear that, in an appropriate case, discrimination against disable inmates could violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. See also Rainey v. County of Delaware, 18 Nat’l Disability Law Rep. para 208, 2000 WL 1056456 (E.D. Pa. 2000)county and corporate owner of the prison could not assert an Eleventh Amendment or qualified immunity defense because it is well-settled that a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair has a serious medical condition that warrants recognition under the Eighth Amendment). The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against disabled people and does apply, in appropriate cases, to inmates. Additionally, The Rehabilitation Act also prohibits discrimination against disable people in a federally funded “program or activity.” The Rehabilitation Act has been held to apply to prisons and, in 1998, the Supreme Court unanimously held that the ADA also applies to state prisons. See Pennsylvania Department of Correction v. Yeskey, 524 U.S. 206 (1998).
Need we say anything more?