Ohio Inmate Denied Medical Care Commits Suicide
He was suffering excruciating pain as a result of a nerve condition, and Dr. Myron Shank had refused to give him pain medications multiple times for non-medical reasons.
“We were preparing to file suit when we learned of Mr. Stamper’s death last night,” said David A. Singleton, executive director of the Ohio Justice and Policy Center. Mr. Stamper suffered from acute peripheral neuropathy. As a result of nerve damage, he felt as if the affected parts of his body were on fire. “We are deeply saddened by Mr. Stamper’s death. He was in obvious pain but the institutional doctor refused to treat him,” added Singleton. “We will do what we need to do to ensure that medical care is provided to prisoners who need it.”
Dr. Myron Shank is a medical doctor employed by the state of Ohio to provide medical services to inmates at Allen Correctional Institution, where Stamper was incarcerated. Shank removed Stamper from his medication after accusing Stamper of being a drug addict. Shank refused to put Stamper back on any medicine to control Stamper’s pain.
The Ohio Justice and Policy Center, as class counsel on the Fussell v. Wilkinson settlement, works to guarantee constitutionally adequate medical care in Ohio prisons. OJPC, since the beginning of 2010, has pointed out problems with Dr. Shank refusing to provide care to patients, but the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections has continued to employ him.
And a quick programming note: I’ve been pretty intermittent with blogging this spring due to academic commitments, but am gearing up to a more regular blogging schedule. In the interest of getting the information out quickly, I’ll be posting a few press releases and links that have backed up in my inbox, without much commentary or editing. But look for more commentary and editing in weeks to come.