Sunday, July 13, 2008

Walk good, Esmin Green

Today, Esmin Green was buried in her homeland of Jamaica at a service at the Duxes Seventh-Day Adventist Church in St. Catherine. The Jamaica Observer summed it up well, with a headline reading 'Esmin Green will not be ignored today'.

Her case will not be ignored for a long time as more heartbreaking details of her last moments on earth keep being unearthed.

According to the medical examiner's report, Esmin Green died of deep vein thrombosis - blood clots induced by a long period of physical inactivity. In other words, the 24 HOURS she had been sitting waiting on a chair in the emergency to get a room and be attended to. Good lord ...

She fell to the floor and thrashed for 30 MINUTES before she fell still and died. It was another 30 minutes by the time anyone checked her.

I don't know what to say. I have no words for such inhumanity.  It reminds me of the Kitty Genovese or bystander syndrome - the diffusion of responsibility or the indifference of good men.

All I have to offer is this - 'walk good' Ms. Green ... as people would say back a yaad. May light eternal shine upon you.


  1. oh this is so sad :( absolutely terrible!

  2. Probably the blood clots were caused by more than physical inactivity. Ms. Green was admitted involuntarily for agitation, but if you look at the video, until her collapse she seems to be waiting fairly quietly. This suggests she was almost certainly given an antipsychotic when she arrived at the emergency room. Antipsychotics can be useful and necessary for severe mental illness, and if she really was schizophrenic (not a settled question-- it's a tricky and stigmatizing diagnosis, and one that's more likely to be given to black people in emotional distress, such as Ms. Green, more quickly) they may have been the best course. But they've got a lot of dangerous side effects, such as... deep vein thrombosis ( It looks to me like the "treatment" she was given, against her will, killed her.

  3. Ed and all,

    I am the director of the Mental Health and Wellness Foundation and I suffer from Bipolar, and I too have spent over 24 hours to get care for a medical reaction to a medication. When I saw this video I was absolutely disgusted. So I contacted all the people in my network of mental health organizations and have come up with legislation that will hopefully make sure that another Esmine Green is not taken from this world needlessly. Currently Senator Shuman from NY is in coorperation with us in finalizing this legislation and hopefully will be presented to congress after their August break. So know that instead of just talking about it, we as Americans are now going to start doing something about it! Things need to change and we are taking the first steps to do so.

  4. So sorry to hear about what happenned to Esmin Green...

    Hope something good can come out of this tragedy