Friday, December 3, 1999

Inmate sues
over death of her
fetus in prison

Her attorney says a prison nurse
injected her with a birth-control
drug knowing she was pregnant

By Christine Donnelly


An inmate's unborn baby died because a prison nurse injected the birth control drug Depo-Provera into the woman's abdomen knowing she was pregnant, according to a lawyer for the inmate, who is suing the state.

"Your chances of getting decent medical care in prison are very poor, especially for women. This case shows the prenatal care is atrocious," said lawyer Myles S. Breiner, who represents plaintiffs Ann Hose and her husband, Rodney Hose.

A lawsuit filed Wednesday in Circuit Court says Ann Hose "clearly informed" prison personnel that she was two or three months pregnant when she was processed into Oahu Community Correctional Center on or before Dec. 15, 1997. But a prison nurse gave her two shots anyway, including one of Depo-Provera into her abdomen, according to the lawsuit.

"As a result of the injection, plaintiffs' unborn child died," the lawsuit says, citing an ultrasound test on Dec. 24, 1997, that confirmed the fetus had no heartbeat.

Breiner said prison medical records support Ann Hose's version of events.

He said she asked to call her husband before getting the shot but was not allowed to and that she was told she would be put in solitary lock-down and labeled a troublemaker if the intake process did not go smoothly. No one told her the shots might harm the baby, the suit alleges.

The lawsuit, filed against the state of Hawaii, Oahu Community Correctional Center and several officials of the state Department of Public Safety, seeks unspecified damages, along with court costs and lawyers' fees. The state has 20 days to respond.

A spokeswoman for Ted Sakai, director of the state Department of Public Safety, today said Sakai had no comment at this time. Kenneth J. Zienkiewicz, health director of the DPS's corrections division, refused to take a reporter's phone call at home last night.

Ann Hose remains in custody on bank fraud charges, although not at OCCC, Breiner said.

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