FMC CARSWELL: TREATMENT OR VILE NEGLIGENCE?
The Federal Medical Center (FMC) Carswell Hospital in Fort Worth Texas is truly one of a kind. Originally an Air Force base it is now the home of around 1,200 women inmates, the only hospital were federal women can go for treatment in all of the US.
Out of the 1,200 inmates that reside at FMC Carswell approximately 642 are there for medical and psychiatric reasons, though some would claim that the numbers are much higher.
Either which way we want to look at this scale, one question truly remains, that question being are the women at Carswell treated with proper medical care or are they these women treated with vile negligence? Let's first take a look at some grueling statements taken directly from women who've either spent time at the FMC facility or who are currently still there. The first three stories were taken from an interview with an activist woman, Kathleen Rumpf, who spent about 9 months at FMC Carswell:
- One woman (an unarmed bank robber) came in from a car crash that left her with burns over half her body and one leg amputated. She needed special hygienic soap, detergent, lotion and dye-free clothing to keep her fragile skin grafts from becoming infected. This was all deemed "not medically necessary".
- Another woman fought for months just to get a biopsy on a lump in her breast.
- A 32-year old mother of two begged a counselor for help in a hallway in the hearing of several prisoners, the counselor said "You better not be faking it. If you're faking it, you're going in the hole". This woman died the next day.
- A woman suffering from Lymes Disease (in her 3rd stage of the disease) was repeatedly asked to leave the doctors office for about a year for asking what they had planned for her treatment. When finally seen by a doctor it was stated that she was now diagnosed with two additional diseases, Babesiosis and Ehrlichiosis, this was the result of not being properly cared for.
- A 73-year old woman in a wheel chair was down in the surgery unit, she was reported to be immensely bloated (her stomach being the size of a basketball) and was wheeled back to her room where she was left alone in the dark vomiting.
- The same woman with Lymes Disease had also visited the surgery room once on a medical emergency, she stated "They were beyond rude, I wasn't even seen by the doctor".
These are just a few cases that I have put forth, but the list most defiantly goes on, I hope this is enough to make you sick and outraged. Even a judge, of all people, wrote to Janet Reno stating "this is cruel and unusual punishment".
Being the only medical facility for federal women in the US one would think that these women wouldn't have to endure such negligence. I've personally heard lots of instances where women and men in prison do endure medical neglect, as it too is very common, but to think that a hospital (whether it be federal or not, even though some regular hospitals are neglectful as well) for women prisoners is doing such acts is even more disturbing. These women literally have no where else to go for help, so they must constantly except the fact that the treatment they are getting, whether it be good or bad, is the only treatment for them. They will even continuously tell you "You are getting the best medical care in any community", that's because there is no other medical care for these women. This is there only option, and with that, they (the staff, doctors, etc.) will do as they please knowing that you, the prisoner, can't do anything about it.
Even writing up grievances on how you are being treated
will, most of the time, not solve a thing, I've heard of the staff just throwing
the complaints out or even saying, "You're wasting your time". Why complain
to the abuser when the abuser just doesn't care about the abuse they put you
through? The only solution I see feasible is to expose it and confront it, but
even then, they just don't seem to listen. I've written numerous letters to
the ex-warden J.B. Bogan, Prison Director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer, Chief Justice
Thelton Henderson, John Rathman, the unit manager Ms. Stevens, and many more.
I get little to no response or the same old story, that they'll look into it,
or that these women are treated with proper medical care, this is flat out bullshit
and they know it.
This so-called hospital needs to be exposed for what it truly is, a joke and a fraud. And that as well seems to be the problem, hardly anyone even knows of this hospital or the neglect that the women inside it suffer. You'd think that it being the only federal hospital for women in the US that more people would know of it, but then again, the more it stays hidden, the more they can get away with. But something must be done, no longer should we allow these "doctors" to do as they please as ill women's lives are at stake, prisoners or not, they are sick and in need of real medical care. And I don't believe that letter writings are the ultimate solution, as I feel sometimes it is a waste of time, they don't listen and they don't care, but take it upon yourself to do what you think is right, research and expose it.
PO Box 19733 Austin,