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USA: Mississippi prison delayed woman’s cancer diagnosis until it was terminal, lawsuit says

A Mississippi prison denied medical treatment to an incarcerated woman with breast cancer, allowing her condition to go undiagnosed for years until it spread to other parts of her body and became terminal, according to a lawsuit filed on Wednesday.

Susie Balfour, 62, alleges that Mississippi department of corrections (MDOC) medical officials were aware she might have cancer as early as May 2018, but did not conduct a biopsy until November 2021, one month before she was released from prison. It was not until January 2022, after she left an MDOC facility, that a University of Mississippi Medical Center doctor diagnosed her with stage four breast cancer, according to her federal complaint.

Her lawsuit and medical records paint a picture of a prison healthcare system that deliberately delayed life-saving healthcare and for years repeatedly failed to conduct follow-up appointments that the MDOC’s contracted clinicians recommended.

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Source: The Guardian, 14 February 2024


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