'Neglected' student dies in Egypt prison after cancer battle

'Neglected' student dies in Egypt prison after cancer battle
2 min read
14 April, 2017
Nineteen-year-old prisoner Karim Medhat died on Thursday from a brain tumor after prison authorities delayed his transfer to a proper hospital for medical treatment.
Medhat was denied proper medical treatment by the prison hospital [Twitter]
A 19-year-old prisoner in Egypt's Borg al-Arab prison died from a brain tumour on Thursday after authorities refused to release him for medical treatment.

Karim Medhat, who was denied proper medical treatment by the prison hospital, had been suffering from deteriorating health conditions and fell into a 10-day coma earlier this month.

His family have formally accused the doctor in charge of the case at the Borg al-Arab prison hospital and the prison administration of extreme medical negligence and failing to carry out their duties to protect the prisoner's health, his lawyer Mohamed Hafez told local media.

Despite Medhat's health condition that had been deteriorating since early March, when he lost half his body weight, the prison hospital did not consider it critical and returned him to his cell.

When he fell into a coma in early April, he was transferred back to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a brain tumour that led to several blood clots in his brain.

Medhat was already clinically-dead when his family made a request to the prosecution to transfer him to al-Raml University Hospital, as the prison hospital was not equipped to treat his condition.

The family's request was approved and Medhat was transferred to al-Raml hospital on April 4, where he was handcuffed to his bed, but it was too late, as his condition had severely deteriorated.

The young student was serving a five-year military court sentence after being convicted of illegal gathering, protesting, damaging a car, and the alleged attempt to murder a military officer.

Egyptian prison authorities have been repeatedly accused of medical negligence and limiting access to health care, proper nutrition, and basic hygiene for prisoners.

The increasing deaths inside Egypt's prisons have sparked debate on whether medical negligence was a deliberate strategy or an indication of a deteriorating infrastructure.