‘Sheer hatred’: Dying indigenous woman films nurses taunting and berating her in her final moments.
A disturbing video shows hospital staff in Canada verbally abusing a dying indigenous woman as she writhes in anguish.
Joyce Echaquan, 37, from Manawan, died two days after being admitted to Joliette hospital in Quebec with stomach pains.
In her final moments, the mom-of-seven recorded a Facebook Live video, capturing the disparaging remarks she received from those meant to care for her.
The footage shows Joyce desperately trying to breathe in between moans and screams of anguish.
Then, a nurse says in French:
You’re stupid as hell.
Are you done acting stupid?
Despite the mom’s cries of pain, the verbal abuse continues with another nurse saying:
You made some bad choices, my dear. What are your children going to think, seeing you like this?
And the first nurse responds:
She’s good at having sex, more than anything else.
Joyce’s family said the mother also had a heart problem, and they believe she died after the nurses gave her too much morphine.
‘The Worst Face of Racism’
The disturbing footage has since prompted an investigation that led to the firing of one nurse.
It has also sparked a wave of criticism and protest both on social media and the streets of Canada.
Echaquan’s husband, Carol Dubé, said:
How many more people need to die so that finally we recognize that there is systemic racism against us Indigenous people?
I am convinced that my wife died because systemic racism contaminated the Joliette hospital.
Joyce was a member of the Atikamekw indigenous tribe, which inhabits parts of southern Quebec.
Quebec Premier François Legault condemned the staff’s actions, indicating the event reflects a broader racism issue.
The nurses, what they said, is totally unacceptable, it’s racist…
We must fight this racism.
Meanwhile, the Native Women’s Association of Canada said in a statement:
Joyce Echaquan went to the hospital for medical help.
Instead, she was told she’s stupid, only good for sex and she would be better off dead as she pleaded for help before dying.
Mary Hannaburg, vice-president of Quebec Native Women, added:
[Joyce] video is a very hard thing to hear and to listen to.
We will not tolerate racism in any given form toward Indigenous people.
Canada is No Stranger to Historical Abuses Against Indigenous Peoples
Joyce’s death comes amid ongoing concerns over the treatment of indigenous people in Canada, who make up about five percent of the country’s 37 million population.
Just last year, researchers discovered that 2,800 Indigenous children died anonymously in state-run boarding schools during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Quebec’s government also found systemic discrimination against indigenous people accessing public services.
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