Whistleblower Complaint Alleges Forced Hysterectomies Without Detainee Consent

Posted on 09/17/20

A shocking whistleblower complaint published this week uncovered the appallingly high rates of hysterectomies, the process of removing a woman’s uterus. The complaint further alleges that the actions in the private ICE detention center based in Georgia, are sometimes unwillingly completed. Such complaints are not uncommon for privately held ICE detention facilities that seek to profit off of detained immigrants. In previous blogs, our firm has discussed the deteriorating conditions of ICE facilities, leaving immigrants susceptible to infections and other forms of diseases. The need for ICE oversight is high, and without the proper officials overseeing ICE, millions of immigrants could face the same dire consequences if they’re detained.

The whistleblower complaint highlights the experience of one detainee who can recollect that at least several women in the course of just a matter of months had hysterectomies without the “proper consent” it would require. Language barriers and lack of interpreters left some women without any knowledge of what was happening. The lack of care that is typically entrusted in medical professionals is unacceptable and anti-American. The complaint was filed by the Human Rights Group, Project South detailing the horrific situations the women had faced. Dawn Wooten, was the original whistleblower, a licensed nurse at the Georgia detention facility. Her complaint has been corroborated by numerous detainees, officials, and advocates of the detainees. Although corroborating her complaint, these officials asked to be kept anonymous in fear that their lives may be at stake. According to the intercept article, Ms. Wooten described detainees’ encounters with doctors. “Everybody he sees has a hysterectomy — just about everybody,” “I’ve had several inmates tell me that they’ve been to see the doctor, and they’ve had hysterectomies, and they don’t know why they went or why they’re going.” Ms. Wooten stated.

Medical mistreatment of inmates is all too common for private detention facilities. LaSalle Corrections, the private company that operates the Georgia facility is familiar with such
complaints against its facilities. Ms. Wooten’s complaint originally targeted the inactions of the facility officials to protect detainees even during the current pandemic. Without proper sanitation, PPE, and medical equipment, immigrants have continued to be vulnerable. Ms. Wooten told The Intercept that the above complaints went unnoticed and led to her demotion
from an on-call nurse rather than a full-time nurse. “When I started talking about the unfairness and injustice,” pressuring staff to conduct more COVID-19 tests, “I was written up,” Wooten said. “It’s dog-eat-dog in there, at the expense of the detainees.”

Our firm has continuously advocated for the rights of detainees. We want you to rest knowing our services are founded on integrity and honesty. We have distinguished ourselves as a leading force in advocating for the rights of every immigrant, no matter the circumstances. Don’t let your voice be suppressed, let our team guide you through the process of obtaining legal status. At The Law Offices of James A. Welcome, we take pride in what we do. Visit welcomelawfirm.com for more.

Source: https://theintercept.com/2020/09/14/ice-detention-center-nurse-whistleblower/