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Papers of the Week

2022 Dec 02

J Correct Health Care

Painful Convictions: Examining Pain Management Malpractice Claims From Incarcerated Patients, 2000-2020.


Ravi MS, Ayala A E, Tegtmeyer K, Atassi G, Gephart J, Paqette E
J Correct Health Care. 2022 Dec 02.
PMID: 36472474.


We aim to characterize the legal landscape of incarcerated patients' pain management malpractice claims and to discuss the ethical and policy implications that result. The most common rationales for lawsuits were failure to completely treat (38 [46.3%]), failure to offer (34 [41.4%]), and delay of treatment (6 [7.3%]). In cases won by defendants, the most common rationale for verdicts was no deliberate indifference occurred (74 [86.6%]). We found that incarcerated individuals were often unsuccessful in litigating claims for inadequate pain management despite several cases pointing toward treatment strategies far below what would be ethically accepted as standard of care in the community setting.