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Civil Rights – Eighth Amendment – medical care

Civil Rights
Eighth Amendment; medical care

A prison’s medical director cannot be held liable for deliberate indifference to a prisoner’s medical needs based solely on the indifference of other doctors.

“There must be a causal connection or affirmative link between the action complained about and the official sued and that connection is missing with respect to Dr. Webster. This isn’t a case where Dr. Webster simply walked away from the situation and left Arnett without medical care. A review of Arnett’s prison medical records indicates that he was being seen regularly by medical staff, his pain medications were being renewed, x-rays were performed, and he was examined by an outside rheumatologist and an orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Webster left Arnett in the care of other medical personnel, including a staff physician. Whether the care he received was so far afield of accepted professional standards as to raise the inference that it was not actually based on medical judgment remains to be seen. But the defendants whose medical judgment is properly being questioned is Dr. Wilson’s, and possibly Beighley’s and Paul-Blanc’s depending on their involvement in Arnett’s treatment—individuals who continued to see Arnett on a regular basis after Dr. Davis instructed that he be placed back on Enbrel.”

Affirmed in part, and Reversed in part.

09-3280 Arnett v. Webster

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Lawrence, J., Tinder, J.

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