A Supreme Court judge has ordered B.C. Corrections to pay for a set of dentures for an inmate whose teeth were removed in prison without his consent.
Justice Gail Dickson overruled the prison’s decision to deny Reza Eshghabadi’s request for dentures and ordered the province to provide him with a set on Wednesday.
“It was the best outcome that we could have hoped for,” said his lawyer Kristy Sims.
Eshghabadi, 52, has been unable to eat anything solid for the past 14 months since a dentist at the Fraser Regional Correctional Centre removed 10 teeth that held his dentures in place.
Eshghabadi was released from custody last week, but had been in prison since November 2009, when he was sentenced for importing opium.
Iranian-born Eshghabadi’s first language is Farsi and he has limited understanding of English.
He claims that during two dentist appointments in the prison, no translator was present and that his teeth were extracted without his consent while he was under an anaesthetic.
As a result of the procedure, he could no longer wear his dentures.
Forced to sustain himself on a diet of soup and mashed potatoes, he lost 19 pounds.
B.C. Corrections argued it had no obligation to provide Eshghababi with dentures because they are not medically necessary.