Thursday, February 20, 2014

Death, where is your sting?

It's the first death of 2014 among the list of inmates being served by HFP. We've just learned that Daniel Hnatiuk died on January 7. He was 58.

As is so often the case, Dan's plight was called to our attention by another prisoner. He suffered from Hepatitis C, and was in such bad shape that only a liver transplant would save his life. He remained confident that he would be released and get a new liver. Michigan prisoners are not allowed to have transplants. (From what we're told, it's not because they're's because the prison medical staff won't provide the necessary care for the patient after the surgery.)

When HFP was notified by a fellow prisoner that this inmate was not getting appropriate care, we pounced on the case. “I pray that you are the help I have been looking for,” he said to me in a short hand-written note. We prayed the same thing. He had been told the disease was so advanced that the usual medications could not be used. He said that he was in excruciating pain, which we found most irritating. You may not be able to treat the disease, but there are meds to ease the pain.

We learned that he had been denied a commutation in 2011. He was working on a new application when we began communicating with him last year. He and I did a lot of work on his application form to get it polished up. HFP encouraged him to seek a compassionate release because of the severity of his illness. That's what we were working on the last time we exchanged messages.

Then silence.

What a shame that a person who is terminally ill, and in terrible pain, cannot be released to die at home. Where is the compassion in all of this? Did anyone really think that Dan would be a threat to society?

He took his last breath alone, behind cold prison bars.

As Jesus did when his friend Lazarus died, I wept.


Anonymous said...

I'm afraid to say that I don't see an ounce of compassion in any of the dealings with inmates with chronic illness, let alone terminal conditions. Time indeed for a compassion revolution.

Anonymous said...

he was an abuser and murderer. What he did was worse than what he got :-)!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sincere thank you...for this good news! I'm passing it on to the daughter of theperson he murdered. In hopes Iit might bring just a touch of some kind of satisfaction....that we do indeed reap what we sow

Anonymous said...

we reap what we sow

youdiditnow said...

I understand the meaning of this page and respect that, But this man beat my mother to death and left her there for me to find her. No one was there to control my moms pain. Respect for the victims and family's cover people who have not taken the life of someone else is such a horrific way. What he got was KARMA.