Iranian-Born Man in B.C. Jail Wants New Teeth

Canadian Press, February 14, 2011

A 52-year-old Iranian-born man serving time in a B.C. jail wants a court to force the government to pay for his dentures.

Reza Eshghabadi has been in a provincial jail in Maple Ridge since he was sentenced for importing opium in late 2009.

He says when he arrived, he had 10 teeth and dentures.

But shortly after he began his sentence, he says two visits to the dentist ended with his teeth being removed without his consent.

Eshghabadi says his old dentures didn’t fit after that, and that has left him unable to eat much more than soup and mashed potatoes.

He’s lost 16 pounds and says he suffers from dizziness, poor eye sight and stomach pain.

The provincial government argues in court documents that dentures aren’t medically necessary and insists it has no obligation to provide them.

The province rejects Eshghabadi’s claim that he wasn’t told his teeth would be removed, and denies his health has suffered because he has no teeth.

The case will be heard next month.

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