US Marijuana Party

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Doctor details prison deaths

By Mark Gladstone
Mercury News Sacramento Bureau

As many as 64 inmates die unnecessarily in California prisons each year -- the most dramatic example of a public-health emergency engulfing the state correctional system, a court-appointed medical expert testified Tuesday.

Michael Puisis, a physician who wrote the only textbook on prison health care, told a federal judge he had not seen such a level of ``macabre'' prison deaths anywhere else in the nation. He described medical charts at one institution gathering dust in an old locked trailer; a physician who may have contributed to the paralysis of an injured inmate; and another doctor who prescribed cough medicine for a case of asthma.


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