One good eye is good enough
November 21, 2019 9:44 AM   Subscribe

Some prisoners in Illinois are being told having one good eye is sufficient. Despite losing depth perception, sensitivity to light, and other problems that come from having only one good eye, some Illinois prisoners are being refused corrective care to allow binocular vision. Documents from an inmate’s lawsuit include affidavits from doctors working for Wexford that say they denied a prisoner's eye surgery because one functioning eye is sufficient for the daily activities of a prisoner.
posted by stillmoving (24 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Rev. Wright said nothing wrong. God Damn America.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:57 AM on November 21, 2019 [9 favorites]


Horrifying.
posted by odinsdream at 9:57 AM on November 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


Just go ahead and nuke us from orbit. It's the only way to be sure. We had a good run.
posted by bleep at 9:59 AM on November 21, 2019 [14 favorites]


I hope they get sued into the ground.

Incarceration is the punishment, nothing more. A prison should be responsible for any and all injuries that aren't foreseeable due to aging. If a person goes in perfectly healthy at 20, serves 15 years, they should be a perfectly healthy 35 year old.

If a prison can't handle the costs and responsibilities of taking custody of a person and being a steward of their physical and mental health, then they should be out of the business.

If taxpayers don't want to pay for prisoners' healthcare, we should stop putting people in prisons.
posted by explosion at 10:05 AM on November 21, 2019 [63 favorites]


Every day I think "that's it, I can no longer be surprised by how horrible people can be" and almost every day I'm proven wrong.

I would not be surprised at prison officials, guards, wardens, etc. denying care to prisoners anymore. But for a doctor to put in writing that a single eye is sufficient... they should lose their licenses.
posted by jzb at 10:08 AM on November 21, 2019 [24 favorites]


I mean whenever I’m doing a big round of mass organ harvesting on the latest wave of raiders to come crashing against my colony* walls in Rimworld, I too leave each survivor a single eye in case I need to move them around before selling them as slaves to passing black market trade- wait, what the shit? In real life? What the unholy fuck is wrong with people?

*avoiding a suicidal morale hit from this requires a colony composed entirely of clinical sociopaths. A mechanic apparently mirrored by some real-world companies and a disgusting number of people who supposedly took the Hippocratic oath.
posted by Ryvar at 10:09 AM on November 21, 2019 [5 favorites]


What does "custody" mean? It means guardianship, and it carries with it lots of obligations. If you have custody of a child, you are responsible for ensuring that child is fed, and clothed, and sheltered, and educated, and provided with medical care. If you don't do that, you lose custody and are punished. I see no reason why the state and its agents shouldn't have the same obligations for any human in its custody, regardless of how the situation came to be.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:10 AM on November 21, 2019 [17 favorites]


I work with homeless kids and now I am thinking I should go show them this to keep them out of trouble? Privatized prisons. My hand to NO GOD.
posted by lextex at 10:11 AM on November 21, 2019 [2 favorites]


This is human cruelty, for sure. I hope the courts can not only change the policy but also provide damages in an amount equal to or greater than what an employee who lost an eye at work would get. I am guessing that there are actuarial tables that spit out the lifetime cost of losing the use of one eye. It is sad to reduce these things to money, but until it costs more to give poor health care than decent health care, the prison-industrial complex will not provide decent care.
posted by soelo at 10:11 AM on November 21, 2019 [4 favorites]


well, it doesn't take *any* eyes for do day to day activities at Wexford, apparently.
posted by gorestainedrunes at 10:12 AM on November 21, 2019


they should lose their licenses.

I’m generally not a fan of “an eye for an eye” formulations of justice, but this case might be worth making an exception.
posted by Ryvar at 10:21 AM on November 21, 2019 [11 favorites]


"Every time they actually provide care, it takes off their bottom line, takes away from their profits. So therefore, they have a clear profit motive to provide as little care as they can get away with," said Mills.

Indeed.
posted by readinghippo at 10:41 AM on November 21, 2019 [3 favorites]


This is the kind of BS I'm used to hearing about in certain other US states, but between THIS and the previous post about kids being put in solitary, I just have to say, "WTF Illinois?"
posted by sharp pointy objects at 11:21 AM on November 21, 2019 [2 favorites]


I find it sweetly naive that people think the courts (which have been stocked in much the same way trout lakes in Colorado are) will save us from this problem. If Santa brings us a small portable gallows and the backbone to use it, we may just find a way through this mess.
posted by evilDoug at 11:29 AM on November 21, 2019 [9 favorites]


hoping they win their lawsuit(s) =/= the courts will save us!
posted by soelo at 12:28 PM on November 21, 2019


Perhaps not, however: I hope the courts can not only change the policy but also provide damages Does not only speak to winning a lawsuit but changing a policy. I have learned and mostly understand written english.
posted by evilDoug at 12:33 PM on November 21, 2019


Both the department and the company refused to provide a copy of the eye surgery policy stating it is a "trade secret."
Even leaving aside all the specific ethical problems here, the state department of corrections shouldn't be allowed to have trade secrets. What the fucking fuck? How can any human being say that with a straight face?
posted by eotvos at 12:48 PM on November 21, 2019 [13 favorites]


What is this fucking pre ghosts Ebenezer Scrooge bullshit
posted by potrzebie at 1:04 PM on November 21, 2019 [6 favorites]


The cruelty is the point.
posted by droplet at 2:47 PM on November 21, 2019 [8 favorites]


the state department of corrections shouldn't be allowed to have trade secrets.

That's a big part pf the reason for the whole privatization scam. State governments can't have trade secrets, but they can outsource their responsibility to provide constitutionally adequate medical care to private contractors like Wexford. And trade secrets of contractors are protected under most if not all state public records laws, with few meaningful constraints.

(The fact that trade secret law is even a thing is testament to the utter moral bankruptcy of modern IP law, but that's another rant for another thread.)
posted by Not A Thing at 3:50 PM on November 21, 2019 [9 favorites]


This is the kind of BS I'm used to hearing about in certain other US states, but between THIS and the previous post about kids being put in solitary, I just have to say, "WTF Illinois?"

The difference between downstate Illinois and Indiana is negligible, i.e., in far too many ways, it's another one of those "certain other states".
posted by she's not there at 5:43 PM on November 21, 2019 [2 favorites]


This is evil.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:50 PM on November 21, 2019 [2 favorites]


This is the kind of BS I'm used to hearing about in certain other US states, but between THIS and the previous post about kids being put in solitary, I just have to say, "WTF Illinois?"

I think it's just because Illinois is a high tax state, so voters don't have a lot of patience for being asked to pay more for prisoners when they are already paying a lot for schools and pensions and graft.
posted by riruro at 10:19 AM on November 23, 2019


Worth noting that Illinois has a LOT more local investigative reporting than most other states (notably including ProPublica Illinois which broke the solitary confinement story, as well as reporting powerhouse WBEZ which broke this one).

Just because we aren't reading stories about these situations in Indiana, Wisconsin et al. doesn't mean they aren't happening.
posted by Not A Thing at 9:37 AM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


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