Justice Sotomayor got this right
To be sure, Pitre’s decision to refuse medication may have been foolish and likely caused a significant part of his pain. But that decision does not give prison officials license to exacerbate Pitre’s condition further as a means of punishing or coercing him—just as a prisoner’s disruptive conduct does not permit prison officials to punish the prisoner by handcuffing him to a hitching post...I cannot comprehend how a court could deem such allegations “frivolous.” Because I believe that Pitre’s complaint states an Eighth Amendment violation, I would grant the petition for a writ of certiorari and reverse the judgment below.
From page 4 of this PDF
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
ANTHONY C. PITRE v. NATHAN CAIN ET AL.
ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED
STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
No. 09–9515. Decided October 18, 2010
SOTOMAYOR, J., dissenting
Shorter Sotomayor: If you are being held by the State, its apparatchicks can't coerce you into doing what they want you to do (without an overwhelmingly good reason) or punish you for being stupid*. What happened to Anthony Pitre in this case is a violation of the Eighth Amendment, the lower court decisions are simply wrong, and the Supreme Court should have heard the case.
I stumbled across this after reading something else . A nice change from the kick-'em-when-they're-down culture we're living in.
*Would that being stupid was in and of itself punishment enough. Sigh.