The opinion of the court was delivered by: Aspen, District Judge:
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff, Kenneth E. McEachern, brings this pro se
complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 28 U.S.C. § 1331,
1332, 1361, 1651, and 2241 seeking monetary,
declaratory, and injunctive relief for the alleged violation
of his federal constitutional rights under the eighth
amendment. The Court finds jurisdiction of this action under
28 U.S.C. § 1331. See Carlson v. Green,
446 U.S. 14, 100 S.Ct. 1468, 64 L.Ed.2d 15 (1980). Before the Court is
the motion for summary judgment of defendants, Dennis M.
Luther, Warden at the Metropolitan Correctional Center,
Chicago, Illinois ("MCC") and Thomas Gora, Hospital
Administrator at MCC.*fn1 For the reasons that follow, the
motion is granted.
Plaintiff contends that defendants have subjected him to
cruel and unusual punishment by failing to provide him with
proper medical care during two separate periods of confinement
at MCC. According to the complaint, plaintiff was suffering
from a stasis ulcer on his left leg and conditions previously
diagnosed as premature ventricular contractions of the heart
and chronic thrombophlebitis when he was initially committed
to MCC on August 15, 1979. Two weeks after his arrival at MCC
plaintiff was taken to the Cook County Hospital for "extensive
emergency treatment." When doctors at Cook County informed
plaintiff that they could do nothing further to improve his
condition, plaintiff attempted to escape, allegedly to seek
out better-qualified physicians. Following the escape attempt
on September 25, 1979, plaintiff was returned to MCC.
Plaintiff remained at MCC until October 28, 1979, when he
was transferred by van to the United States Penitentiary at
Terre Haute, Indiana. On two occasions prior to his transfer,
plaintiff directed written requests to defendant Gora
complaining of the inadequacy of his current medical treatment
and requesting examination by a qualified physician. Plaintiff
directed a similar written request to defendant Luther on
October 6, 1979. On October 12, 1979, plaintiff submitted a
request for a transfer to a federal medical facility to Gora.
Plaintiff alleges that each of these requests were ignored.
On December 19, 1979, plaintiff was returned to MCC. Between
December 23, 1979, and January 14, 1980, plaintiff submitted
four more requests to Gora, two complaining of improper
medical treatment and two requesting transfer to a federal
medical facility. Plaintiff alleges that these requests too
were ignored. On January 23, 1980, plaintiff learned that he
was scheduled for transfer to the Federal Correctional
Institution at El Reno, Oklahoma. Two days later, he
instituted administrative proceedings to avoid being
transferred by bus on the grounds that such a transfer was
"contra-indicated" by his medical condition. Defendants denied
plaintiff's request for administrative relief on February 19,
and plaintiff was sent to Terre Haute by bus on February 29,
1980. He is currently confined at the F.C.I., El Reno.
Defendants' motion for summary judgment is supported by an
affidavit from Gora, attached to which are the medical records
maintained on plaintiff during his confinement at MCC. Gora
states in his affidavit that, in addition to the month
plaintiff spent in the hospital undergoing evaluation for his
heart condition, plaintiff was examined and treated by five
doctors on ten separate occasions at MCC. Plaintiff's medical
records further indicate that physician's assistants routinely
cared for and administered medication to plaintiff on a
regular basis and that on February 1, 1980, a physician
sanctioned plaintiff's transfer by bus with the proviso that
plaintiff be permitted to keep his leg elevated during the
journey. Defendants contend that the affidavit and medical
records belie plaintiff's allegations and establish that
plaintiff was afforded frequent and extensive treatment
throughout the duration of his stay at MCC.
In order to prevail on an eighth amendment claim challenging
the adequacy of medical treatment, plaintiff must allege and
prove "acts or omissions sufficiently harmful to evidence
deliberate indifference to serious medical needs." Estelle
v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106, 97 S.Ct. 285, 292, 50
L.Ed.2d 251 (1976). Allegations of negligence or mere
inadvertence will not suffice under the deliberate
indifference standard. A prisoner must show intent either to
deny or unreasonably delay access to needed medical care or
the wanton infliction of unnecessary pain by prison personnel.
Id. at 104-105, 97 S.Ct. at 291-92. Viewing the
record in the light most favorable to plaintiff, the Court
cannot find that defendants acted with the deliberate
indifference required by the constitutional standard
enunciated in Estelle.
Plaintiff does not allege, nor does the record reflect, that
defendants acted in such a way as to deny or delay his access
to medical treatment. The requests which plaintiff directed to
defendants complained not of a denial of medical care, but of
the incorrectness of the treatment prescribed for him. Prison
medical officers have broad discretion to determine the nature
and character of medical treatment afforded to inmates.
Thomas v. Pate, 493 F.2d 151, 157 (7th Cir.),
cert. denied, 419 U.S. 879, 95 S.Ct. 143, 42 L.Ed.2d
119 (1974). A prisoner's dissatisfaction with a doctor's
prescribed course of treatment does not give rise to a
constitutional claim unless the medical treatment provided is
"so blatantly inappropriate as to evidence intentional
mistreatment likely to seriously aggravate the prisoner's
condition." Id. at 158; see also Ferranti v.
Moran, 618 F.2d 888, 891 (1st Cir. 1980); Bass v.
Sullivan, 550 F.2d 229, 232 (5th Cir.), cert.
denied, 434 U.S. 864, 98 S.Ct. 195, 54 L.Ed.2d 138
The Court need not decide, however, whether plaintiff's
prescribed treatment was "blatantly appropriate." Gora and
Luther are prison administrators, not licensed medical
practitioners. Lacking the requisite expertise, they must
necessarily place their confidence in the reports of the
prison doctors whenever an inmate disputes a medical opinion
as to what treatment is necessary and proper. Defendants here
clearly deferred to the professional medical judgment of the
doctors attending plaintiff with respect to both the propriety
of his treatment and the lack of any medical necessity for
making special transportation arrangements to accomplish his
transfer to another correctional facility. Defendants'
reliance upon the opinion of their medical staff as to the
proper course of treatment for plaintiff is sufficient to
insulate them from any liability under the eighth amendment.
See McCracken v. Jones, 562 F.2d 22, 24 (10th Cir.
Accordingly, defendants' motion for summary judgment is
granted and this action is ...