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Incorrect prescription drugs to prisoner’s illness

29 April 2010 0:02

A former Palestinian prisoner from Kharas, Hebron has accused the doctors of the Israeli Prison Service of treating him with incorrect prescription drugs. Ismail Ahmed Abdel Kadir Al-Harrop, 24, who was released from Ashkelon Prison on April 21, claims that over a six-month period he was given 180 pills that were not related to his illness and had a damaging effect on his health.

According to the Prisoners’ Studies Centre, Mr. Al-Harrop said, “I was suffering from increased heartburn and gastric secretions. After I was arrested, I asked the prison doctor to keep me on the same drug that was prescribed by my Palestinian doctor, but he rejected my request and ordered another drug, which I was compelled to take because of my illness.”

He said that he took 180 Randine ZanDex tablets and started to feel nerve anaesthesia, which affected his general health and, in particular, his reproductive system. “I sent details of the prescription to doctors and pharmacists outside the prison and they warned me not to take that drug because of its side effects.”

Mr. Al-Harrop said that he then went to the prison doctor and explained what he had been told. “He did not pay attention to what I said, so I lived with my illness without treatment,” he said. “The management of the prison continued to prescribe the same medicine but I stopped taking it.” Independent doctors say that the drug in question is not given to patients under 40 years of age.

Raafat Hamdouna, director of the Prisoners Studies Centre, confirmed the belief that doctors in the Israeli Prison Service often treat sick prisoners as guinea pigs for drugs. “The case of Ismail Al-Harrop is replicated on a daily basis with dozens of prisoners who are ill in prisons in Israel,” he said. In his opinion, he added, the Israeli Prison Service has little regard for the health of the Arab prisoners in their custody. “This has all the hallmarks of a deliberate policy of medical negligence,” added Mr. Hamdouna, as he called upon the relevant bodies and human rights organisations to intervene and save the lives of prisoners who are ill. “Pressure should be put on the Israeli authorities to allow independent medical personnel into prisons to monitor the treatment of sick prisoners.”

Israel holds nearly 7000 Palestinian prisoners in its prisons – many without charge including 1000 who are sick, of whom 300 are in need of urgent surgery.

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