Appeals court docket regulations Kentucky prisons can deny hepatitis C medication

A federal appeals court docket has ruled the Kentucky Section of Corrections can deny a lifestyle-conserving treatment for inmates with hepatitis C for the reason that it is expensive — a conclusion a dissenting decide says will condemn hundreds of prisoners to prolonged-expression organ damage and suffering.

In a 2-1 ruling, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel said Tuesday the department can deny the treatment, which cures practically 100% of patients but costs $13,000 to $32,000.

The greater part observed that denying it to most of Kentucky’s 1,200 inmates with hepatitis C does not constitute cruel and uncommon punishment in violation of the Eighth Modification. 

But in a sharply worded dissent, Judge Jane Stranch of Nashville said by “flouting the recognized common of care,” the Corrections Office “consigns 1000’s of prisoners with symptomatic, long-term HCV to many years of extra suffering and irreversible liver scarring.”