Farmer v. Brennan

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In Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994), the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that a prison official's "deliberate indifference" to a substantial risk of serious harm to an inmate violates the Eighth Amendment, citing Helling v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 25 (1993); Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294 (1991); Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97 (1976), and that "deliberate indifference" required a showing that the official was subjectively aware of the risk.

The Court also noted that a prison doctor may have a constitutionally related professional obligation to communicate with superiors about seriously unsafe or unsanitary conditions in the cellblock.