If a judge has ordered your husband or wife to serve a prison sentence, you must adjust to a new way of life. You should not, however, have to worry about your loved one’s personal safety or overall health. This is true even if your spouse has a chronic medical condition, a permanent disability or another ailment.
The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects individuals from cruel and unusual punishment. Neglecting to treat medical conditions or to respond to health emergencies may violate this fundamental legal right.
Your spouse is at the mercy of prison officials
When free citizens become ill, they may visit a pharmacy for over-the-counter medication. For other ailments, they may schedule an appointment with a primary care physician or visit an emergency room. Inmates, of course, do not have this option.
Put simply, your husband or wife is likely at the mercy of prison officials to diagnose and treat his or her health conditions.
Your spouse may have a legal claim
If your spouse is not receiving adequate medical care in prison, he or she may have a legal claim. To succeed with one, your husband or wife must demonstrate two things.
First, your spouse must show that prison officials acted with deliberate indifference about his or her medical condition. Second, your spouse must have a serious medical need.
You may have limited time to act
Depending on the nature and severity of your spouse’s medical condition, you may have little time to convince prison officials to provide reasonable care.
On the other hand, if your spouse has already left prison, you must file any legal claim or seek other legal remedies within the specified timeframe in the statute of limitations.