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Physician files whistleblower complaint against DOCCS

Jul 18, 2021 5:45 am

Morgan McKay is reporting for State of Politics a whistleblower lawsuit has been filed in federal court against the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision for allegedly forcing a clinical physician to resign after he spoke out about medical practices within the state prisons. Dr. Michael Salvana worked for the Department of Corrections from 2003 to 2020. He is alleging that after he spoke out against a policy that prohibited him from prescribing certain medications to incarcerated people, he was forced out. Salvana’s lawyer, Carlo de Oliveira, argues that incarcerated individuals should not be receiving different care than those outside prison. “New York state correctional facilities should not be used as an experimental medical facility,” de Oliveira said. “...New York state should not be using the inmates for experimental medication. When a treating physician or specialist makes a recommendation, that should be followed.” The Department of Corrections’ Medications With Abuse Potential policy prohibits certain drugs from being prescribed because of their potential to be abused or to cause addiction. Attorney de Oliveira alleges the policy prevented his client from treating patients in the way he deemed appropriate, citing the case of a incarcerated quadriplegic person who was sent to the hospital multiple times due to dehydration caused by vomiting. Salvana prescribed a medication that would have controlled the vomiting, but his order was denied, citing department policy. A spokesperson for the Department of Corrections said they cannot comment on pending litigation, but noted in a statement, “the Department provides the community standard of medical care for all incarcerated individuals. All DOCCS facilities have medical staff on site and individuals have access to medical services on a daily basis through the facility’s sick call procedure... If more extensive care is necessary, the incarcerated individual may be moved to another hospital which can provide the additional services. DOCCS also collaborates with [the state Department of Health] on a regular basis in providing care to the incarcerated population." Read the full story at nystateofpolitics [dot] com.

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