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Care of James McDougal Defended

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Related Links
_ McDougal Said He Felt Ill but Was Untreated (Washington Post, Sept. 14)

_ Full Coverage: Clinton Accused

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Associated Press
Tuesday, September 15, 1998; Page A04

FORT WORTH, Tex., Sept. 14—The Federal Bureau of Prisons today defended its medical treatment of Whitewater figure James McDougal, who died in March of cardiac arrest.

The bureau said McDougal received "timely, appropriate, professional" medical care at the Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth.

An earlier bureau report, obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, indicated McDougal received no medical treatment despite complaining of dizziness and becoming ill before his March 8 death.

But the bureau said today a team of investigators concluded that McDougal, who died at age 57, received appropriate care.

"The review concluded that the actions of staff with respect to the treatment afforded Mr. McDougal at the time of his death were consistent with [prison] policy and reasonable community standards of medical care," it said Monday.

A prison official, who did not want to be identified, told the Star-Telegram that McDougal had medicine that could have bought him some time after he suffered a heart attack. But according to the bureau report, prison officials did not want to wake McDougal's former cellmate to find the medicine.

Today's statement said nothing of McDougal's access to his heart medication.

McDougal was a key witness for Whitewater prosecutors when the investigation centered on an Arkansas land deal in which he and President Clinton participated. Investigators have made no allegations of wrongdoing by the president.

McDougal was convicted of unrelated federal fraud charges and was serving his term when he died.

© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

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