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Addressing Chronic Conditions

London v. Delaware Department of Corrections, et al.


London v. Delaware Department of Corrections, et al. (U.S. District Court, D. Del., Sept. 20, 2021): The court dismissed plaintiff London’s claim that non-medical prison officials in the Delaware Department of Corrections violated the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment by failing to provide adequate medical care for her diagnosed gender dysphoria. The court accepted as fact that London suffers from gender dysphoria and that it is a serious medical condition. Deliberate indifference to a serious condition may give rise to a violation of the Eight Amendment. Although London received hormone therapy and psychotherapy, she argued that this constituted insufficient medical care and desired gender confirming surgery. The court dismissed the claims against the non-medical prison officials finding that non-medical prison officials may reasonably rely on medical professionals in managing an inmate’s serious medical condition and that “mere disagreement as to the proper medical treatment” is not sufficient to support a constitutional violation. The case against the Department of Corrections will proceed but the individual defendants are dismissed. Read the full decision here.

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – October 15, 2021.

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