I really need to write a longer post on this. Do you know who Libby Zion was? She was a Bennington College student who died in a hospital and shouldn’t have died. This ended up as one of the biggest malpractice suits ever ever ever! It didn’t happen in Bennington, Vermont. It happened in New York City. Libby’s father, Sidney Zion, who is no longer living, pursued the case for the next ten years.
Who killed Libby Zion? Sadly, Sidney Zion went after the wrong people. He pursued the case against the hospital doctors. It was tragic for those doctors. It wrecked their careers. I do not believe the problem was “tired doctors.” I do not believe the doctors he sued were at fault. I read the detailed book on the case written by Natalie Robins. The book got bad reviews which I believe was DELIBERATELY done to smear the book so people would not read it. So people would not notice the real villain, the person who really killed Libby Zion. The person who wasn’t nailed, and should have been.
Yes, I believe the Libby Zion law is a good law and should stand. I don’t believe that this is what Sidney really wanted, but that doesn’t mean the law isn’t important. Why should a doctor work that many hours? Do you want a doctor who has worked 40 hours straight to operate on you or to see you in the ER? I do not.
Still, who killed Libby? I know. I know because I saw a little inconsistency when I read the book. I know. I was a Bennington College student, too. Libby was not much younger than me. I know because I knew the same people Libby knew. I know because I lived in the town. I know because I knew the era. I know because I knew the drug she was on, called Nardil. She was 18 years old when she died.
This is what happened. She was depressed, and it doesn’t sound to me like she was extremely depressed, but a little bit depressed, enough to validate a doctor visit. Why? Well, she managed to get around. If she was that depressed she wouldn’t have. She didn’t make it to class but this was not due to not being able to get out of bed, but because of some love affair in New York. New York City, that is. One of those “dorm arrangements” when a kid is secretly living with her boyfriend and the roommate gets the room to herself. I knew of such “arrangements” when I was in college. There were quite a few.
But it depended on whom you asked. Looks like she was wealthy enough to buy any drugs she wanted. Such as cocaine. I personally didn’t know much about the drug scene back then, but apparently a lot of kids were into it.
During NRT, which was the winter break time, she went to live with her parents. During this time you’re required to take on an internship or a job. As Robins worded it, “had to work.” Had to. Oh the poor rich kids…..Anyway, if I recall correctly, back in 1980 I was scared about NRT because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to find a job.
Libby apparently had something going in New York. From what I know of depression, if she was THAT depressed she wouldn’t have been able to work her NRT job. Just sayin.
She saw a psychiatrist named Greenblatt or Greensburg. Please don’t hold me to one or the other. Maybe Greenburg. Anyway, he prescribed Nardil. She had never taken an antidepressant before. I repeat, she had not taken any other antidepressant.
Do you guys know what Nardil is? Those of us old-timers do. You bet we do.
You know damn well Nardil is NOT the first drug of choice. How long, I ask, had Libby been seeing him before he prescribed the Nardil?
Listen, this wasn’t supposed to be done. Let’s say she started seeing him after Christmas. Back then, 1983, he was supposed to do therapy first, say, at least SIX weeks of that, then, try drugs, and definitely not Nardil as first choice. What fucked up here? She died early March.
Guess what this doctor did? IN COURT, he claimed he TESTED LIBBY FOR A CHEMICAL IMBALANCE!! Folks, is there such a test? NO! Was there ever one? NO! There is no blood test for depression!
He fucking lied in court!!!! Why? Because he knew damned well that he should NEVER have given her the Nardil! This was bad medicine! So he claimed, in court, LYING UNDER OATH, that Libby certainly had “atypical depression” and that he knew because he had “tested her in his office.” Nope.
He did not do this test. He lied.
Libby was dead so he didn’t have her there to say, “Hey, you never did that. Murderer.”
He didn’t give her informed consent. He should never have given her Nardil. He was an incompetent fool. You don’t mix Nardil with cocaine. And seeing as he was seeing her several times a week, he damn well knew.
The hospital doctors never knew Libby was on Nardil. He hadn’t told her it was important to tell them. So she hadn’t. She died of a fever, likely from the combination of drugs. And actually, no one really knows.