Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Prison Doctor Lacks Standing to Challenge BOP Policy Denying Medical Care

The plaintiff complained of his treatment for a hernia and his prison doctor complained he was fired pursuant to a policy of providing inadequate care and in violation of his First Amendment rights.

Prisoners seeking damages must exhaust administrative remedies that don't provide damages. The court follows Alexander v. Hawk. The deletion of "plain, speedy and effective" from the statute indicates that Congress was not concerned with the effectiveness of remedies. Allowing prisoners to defeat the exhaustion requirement by including a request for damages would defeat Congress's purpose. Even if the remedy doesn't do anything for the prisoner, it has other beneficial effects such as allowing the factual background to be developed and may result in the cessation of the offending conduct.

The physician plaintiff must seek redress under the Civil Service Reform Act; the court declines to find a Bivens remedy.

The physician plaintiff lacks standing to complain of an alleged policy of providing unconstitutionally inadequate medical care. Authority allowing physicians to assert their patients' rights in connection with abortion are not germane because in prison cases, unlike abortion cases, the patients can assert their own rights without serious difficulty. In any case this doctor has been fired and wouldn't benefit from any injunctive relief that might be ordered. See: Massey v. Helman, 35 F.Supp.2d 1111 (C.D.Ill. 1999).

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Massey v. Helman