Michael Postawko’s arms ache every time he brushes his teeth. His joints hurt, he has frequent abdominal pain and severe headaches. His urine has traces of blood. In the three years he has suffered at Missouri’s Jefferson City Correctional Center, Postawko has been denied adequate medical treatment for hepatitis C. If left untreated, the chronic form of the disease can be deadly.
Postawko is one of three prisoners suing the Missouri Department of Corrections, its director and several doctors. They claim that the department of corrections medical policies routinely denied care to inmates with hepatitis C, left them in pain, and put them at risk of death. And these inmates aren’t suffering alone.