The Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) was very surprised to see a Channel 12 promo running this morning, Friday, claiming that offender Fuselier is "fighting for his life". Clearly this depiction of the inmate's condition was incorrect if he was able to conduct an interview with Channel 12. We feel this depiction is pure sensationalism and grossly inaccurate. We ask that Channel 12 correct this inaccuracy.
The VADOC is constitutionally bound to provide all medically necessary health care needs for every inmate. We are also morally bound to preserve life, work to reduce deterioration of health and to follow a community standard of medical care. In addition, we work closely with VCU Medical Center - among other state hospitals - and the Virginia Department of Health on a range of medical issues.
It is important to note that inmates receive at least the same level of care that is available in the community. At the same time we are morally obligated and strive for the best possible care.
Many inmates arrive in our system with multiple medical conditions that they have developed over time, and have often neglected. Once health care is made available to them, they often want immediate cures, despite their years of self-neglect. Even if treatable, many inmates tend to be noncompliant with treatment protocols established for them. It is our mandate to provide medical intervention as necessary to preserve life, reduce deterioration of health and to follow a community standard of medical care as prescribed by our doctors.
Curt, the VADOC encourages you to request that inmate Fuselier release his medical records to you and Channel 12. We are confident in the level of treatment provided in this case and we are proud of our inmate medical system. We stand by our level of care.
Director of Communications
Virginia Department of Corrections
Dear Mr. Traylor:
NBC-12 stands by its promotion and story about the plight of inmate Glen Fuselier. As you know, Glen has a compromised immune system, and will likely be forced to take special precautions to ward off MRSA infections for the remainder of his life. His family claims Glen has encountered eight MRSA outbreaks in his two years of incarceration, (one of which required emergency surgery at Southside Regional Hospital in Petersburg). And although on this particular day Glen seems to be in remission, characterizing his on-going condition as "a fight for his life," is neither sensationalist nor inaccurate. MRSA is a highly infectious bacteria - and for people with immunodeficiency, often fatal. His parents live in constant fear that Glen won't survive the remainder of his time in jail.
Thank you for your statement. We are using a portion of it in our story tonight - and will alert viewers they can read it in its entirety on our website, nbc12.com.