It’s Your Health: Medical Care on Death Row

by Sandi Nieves, CCWF
What is CCWFs answer to the long waiting period for and between prescriptions? To stop dispensing medications from the in-house pharmacy and do all business with a new pharmacy in Tennessee!!
CCWF reasons that the deaths were due to taking medications inaccurately. So, they stopped giving all prescribed medications to the inmates to hold in their possession in monthly supplies, even Tylenol, Ben-gay, blood pressure regulators, depressants, anti-depressants and allergy meds like Allegra. Now, inmates are given meds three times daily (9 am, 12 noon, 5:30 pm) even if some meds are prescribed four times a day.
I was prescribed nitroglycerine for angina pains (heart pains) on February 28, 2001 and didnt see the medication until April 24, 2001 and only then because a nurse put her job on the line to give it to me. The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) didnt want me to have it in my possession. Have a heart attack? Pretend its a dry-run!
CCWFs answer to the growing death-row population?

  • Dont refill their medications until hassled to delirium or death (whichever comes first).
  • Dont listen to their concerns or health history, even though they tell you over and over and over again.
  • Change their meds or stop them all together, just because… you know… doctor knows best!!
  • Hives? For a week… now a month… no, two months… oh, well, you are on death-row, deal with it, itch and scratch to your hearts content (or death).
  • Cough? Give antibiotics, X-ray, cough syrup and cough drops.
  • Cough worse? Repeat cough syrup and cough drops.
  • Cough still? Six months later? Give more cough syrup! Youll stop coughing when executed.
  • Back pain? Want an ice pack? Go lay flat on your back, on your bunk and imagine the injection… Takes your mind off your back pain.
  • Depressed? Be taken off of anti-depressants immediately and abruptly… wait for the suicide to happen!
  • Seizures? Give motion sickness medication to stop the dizzy feeling… maybe youll have a heart attack with your next seizure and thatll take care of all future seizures!!

I can tell you that all of these instances have occurred to someone on the row. Yes, I am on death row. Ive only been here for a short time compared to others whove been here for years!! Im sick at the thought of the medical care here!
I doubt that Ill ever see my appeal, much less my execution!! My family history is one of rampant heart disease and cancer, Im a gonner!! (before the execution)
Thank you for listening, caring, and putting the truth out there!! Information and knowledge is Power!