Oklahoma woman refused medical treatment and jailed instead—and she died
This is shocking, but reflects the mentality of the War on Drugs. Phillip Smith reports:
A pregnant Oklahoma woman who went to a hospital seeking treatment for extreme pain was instead jailed after police found pain pills on her and died in jail shortly thereafter. Jamie Lynn Russell, 33, becomes the third person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.
According to KFOR-TV News Channel 4 in Oklahoma City, Russell went to the hospital in Pauls Valley seeking help for severe abdominal pain. Hospital staff reported that Russell wouldn’t cooperate and was in too much pain to even lie down, so they asked a Paul’s Valley police officer to assist.
And that’s when Russell’s medical emergency morphed into a drug bust. The police officer found two prescription pills on her for which she did not have a prescription, so she was arrested and jailed on drug possession charges. She was found unresponsive in her cell less than two hours later.
“There is nothing my staff in the jail could’ve done differently,” Garvin County sheriff Larry Rhodes said. “She had a medical release from the hospital stating that she was fit for incarceration,” Rhodes said. “It’s very regrettable for the family. My heart and prayers go out to them.”
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has cleared the jail staff of any criminal wrongdoing.
The state medical examiner’s office later confirmed that Russell died from a ruptured ecoptic pregnancy, where the embryo implants outside the uterus.
Russell’s friends and family are pointing the finger at the hospital. “Jamie was seeking help; she was in extreme pain,” family friend Kemper Kimberlin told KFOR. “We want to see this come to light. Something’s wrong and needs to be fixed.”
It may take a civil wrongful death lawsuit to find out exactly what’s wrong — and how a hospital can turn a pain-tormented woman over to police to be jailed instead of treated.