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60% Of Louisiana Prison Doctors Have Been Disciplined

60% Of Louisiana Prison Doctors Have Been Disciplined

 

Louisiana is the world’s prison capital. The state imprisons more of its people, per head, than any of its U.S. counterparts. First among Americans means first in the world. Louisiana’s incarceration rate is nearly five times Iran’s, 13 times China’s and 20 times Germany’s.

That’s how the New Orleans Times-Picayne introduced its gripping series on Louisiana’s prisons last May.

Now comes more bad news.

Of the 15 doctors working full-time at Louisiana state prisons, nearly two-thirds have been disciplined by Louisiana’s medical board for issues ranging from pedophilia to substance abuse.

Here’s more from the New Orleans Times-Picayune:

Louisiana state prisons appear to be dumping grounds for doctors who are unable to find employment elsewhere because of their checkered pasts, raising troubling moral questions as well as the specter of an accident waiting to happen. At stake is the health of nearly 19,000 prisoners who are among the most vulnerable of patients because they have no health care options.

About 60 percent of the state’s prison doctors have disciplinary records, compared with 2 percent of the state’s 16,000 or so licensed medical doctors, according to data from the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners. The medical board is aware of the prison pipeline — in fact, a board-employed headhunter has sometimes helped problem doctors get prison gigs.

Here’s an example of one of those doctors: Dr. Randy Lavespere, who is the assistant medical director at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, spent two years in prison for purchasing $8,000 worth of crystal meth from an informant. His medical license was reinstated in October 2009 on the condition that he practice in an “institutional, prison or other structured setting.”

Another former New Orleans doctor accused of unprofessional conduct with female patients now practices at this all-male prison.

So Louisiana is taking the state’s lowest-quality physicians, with criminal records and problems with how they deliver medicine, and having them practice with one of the state’s most vulnerable populations, who have no choice in the matter.

Maybe it’s time to revisit that policy, which is both unethical and dangerous?

What do you think?

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49 comments

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9:27PM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

I guess the trolls who voted "no", believe that CONVICTS don't deserve good medical care to begin with. And the docs? -- SHOULD HAVE MEDICAL LICENSES REVOKED! AND NO PLACE TO "PRACTICE" THEIR MEDICINE.

12:56PM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

You think this is bad? If rMONEY/rYAN scsm the elections by fraud, voter suppression, jerrymandering with $$$$KOCHroach/Adelson millions, we've got a police state on our hands. No more civil liberties, no human rights, you won't have any prison doctors, only chain-gangs to serve the rich. Jaywalking 30years hard labor. This is the TParty Ryan beautiful vision for a future America.

12:01PM PDT on Aug 2, 2012

Professionals that commited crimes that hurt the ethical way of their practices need to be punished, but I am wondering of we are choosing a good way to correct them, people in prisions seems to be going backwards instead to advance, is scary to learn that obly very few of the inmates recover a "normal" life after being behind bars, the commun rule is they become worst than before, and if we add the bad influence of some of the people working there it becomes scary; that people abusing inmates should face harder punishments.

7:49PM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

@ Sandra W. “Hello wake up. you lost your rights to anything when you committed the crime.”..Thanks for your non-judgemental Christian view of justice. I hope you are not in a position of power. In present day civilized countries a prisoner has lost his freedom to come and go and the freedom to make independent decisions, but I believe no other rights under the law. Lucky for falsely convicted prisoners that there would otherwise be not much left to release. In the Dark Ages a sentence of outlawry meant that you were no longer under protection of the law, and anyone could legally kill you. I assume you would prefer Sharia law ?


9:40AM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

Innocent or guilty, there is a baseline level of medical care anyone should have. I don't think the article above talked about prisoners not getting the care they needed, (which may or may not be true--dependent on many things including the doctor) only that doctors who have not met the standards of general practice of the state are punished and forced to work there---I wonder if their medical licenses were stripped, and their education and experience totally wasted, who then would practice in the prisons?

I am a nurse and have known several nurses and security guards that did a stint doing their job at a prison---it's hard! On the best days it's depressing, there is constant verbal abuse, and often their hands are tied when they do want to do something positive.

I think before we decide that what Lousiana is doing is awful regarding medical care--we need to actually look at the care being given, and what supplies and restrictions the care-givers are under.

9:16AM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

noted.

12:41AM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

AND THESE PRISONERS, IF EVER RELEASED, WILL BE WORSE THAN WHEN THEY WENT IN. SOUNDS LIKE THE DARK AGES . WITH DOCTORS THAT ARE CONVICTED DRUG DEALERS, AND SEXUAL DEVIANTS? THESE MONSTER PREY ON THE MORE VUNERABLE PRISONERS. A PERFECT PLACE FOR A SADISTIC AND UNSCRUPULOUS DOCTOR.

12:41AM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

AND THESE PRISONERS, IF EVER RELEASED, WILL BE WORSE THAN WHEN THEY WENT IN. SOUNDS LIKE THE DARK AGES . WITH DOCTORS THAT ARE CONVICTED DRUG DEALERS, AND SEXUAL DEVIANTS? THESE MONSTER PREY ON THE MORE VUNERABLE PRISONERS. A PERFECT PLACE FOR A SADISTIC AND UNSCRUPULOUS DOCTOR.

12:31AM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

Our country needs serious prison reform. Prisons have been big business for some time now. As far as I know, they are all corrupt.
I don't mean everyone who works in a prison is corrupt, but the system and the way it operates breeds corruption, sadism, abuse, racism, and suffering.

9:34PM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Guess they are in the right place-wrong side of the bars though.

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