According to a story posted on www.lawandcrime.com, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has released statements disputing stories published by various news outlets alleging substandard COVID-19 protocols and non-consensual medical procedures, namely hysterectomies, at the Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) in Ocilla.
Likewise, Coffee Regional Medical Center has released a statement to DouglasNow.com regarding this same issue.
In one statement, published on lawandcrime.com, ICE officials reported that the agency has inspected ICDC numerous times, both announced and unannounced, and it has always been in compliance with national standards.
In a second statement, also published on lawandcrime.com, the medical director for the ICE Health Service Corps (IHSC), Dr. Ada Rivera, stated that ICE “vehemently disputes the implication that detainees are used for experimental medical procedures.” Dr. Rivera also said that since 2018, only two detainees have had hysterectomies. He also said that patients provide their consent and understand the nature of the procedures beforehand. He added that medical professionals make decisions regarding healthcare -- not law enforcement officers.
The second statement also laments the fact that media outlets released the information before government officials could “examine or take appropriate action” regarding the allegations.
Wednesday afternoon, Coffee Regional Medical Center released the following statement about the allegations made against ICDC:
“Coffee Regional Medical Center has been made aware of an array of allegations involving misconduct at the Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC). The allegations involve detainees under the supervision of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE). ICE has referred these allegations to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). The federal government, through the OIG, is investigating this matter.
“It is expected that the federal government’s investigation into this matter will be swift and comprehensive. Once the true nature of the allegations is fully known, Coffee Regional Medical Center will then evaluate what impact, if any, said allegations have on care provided in its service area and take any necessary action.
“Coffee Regional Medical Center has no affiliation with Irwin County Detention Center. Likewise, none of the practitioners involved are employed by Coffee Regional Medical Center and none of the alleged patient care occurred at our facility.”