The Death of Esmin Green: Considering Ongoing Injustice in Psychiatric Institutions
- IJFAB: International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics
- Indiana University Press
- Volume 4, Number 1, Spring 2011
- pp. 221-230
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Esmin Green died in 2008, in the waiting room of Kings County Psychiatric Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, awaiting an involuntary stay. This case drew wide media attention because she died neglected and face-down on the floor, and her death was caught on video by the hospital's own cameras. I use this case as an example of how feminist bioethics can offer a unique perspective on power imbalances within social, political, and institutional aspects of psychiatry. I also argue that because psychiatry is treated structurally and legally as a "special case," it merits especially heightened scrutiny and study, particularly within feminist bioethics.