The following is a news story taken from Philip Jenkins’ book, The Lunch Ladies (which I highly recommend):
A sad death in New York city. Surveillance cameras in a city-run psychiatric hospital emergency room in Brooklyn capture a woman falling from a chair, writhing on the floor, and dying. Hospital staff and other patients watch and do nothing for over an hour. One guard doesn’t even leave his chair, rolling it around the corner to stare at the body. The New York Civil Liberties Union sued the facility, King’s County Hospital Center, last year over the way it treats psychiatric patients. The city’s medical examiner has yet to determine why the woman, 49-year-old Esmin Green, died on June 20. She had been waiting in the emergency room for nearly 24 hours. [Attorney Rob Cohen made the following statement:] ‘The reason this woman died the way she did is because there is a culture of indifference to patients that permeates every aspect of K.C.H.C.’s psychiatric care.’
A culture of indifference killed Esmin Green. She died in the very place that she should have received help. How many people walk into our building looking for help, connections, love, friendship or support and leave empty-handed? How many people do we allow to walk out the door week after week without taking the time to have a genuine conversation with them? There could very well be an Esmin Green here this morning. Will you offer your help?
Matthew 25:45 says, “Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’”