Min. Lawrence appeals for inquest into nurse’s death

DPI, Guyana, Friday, July 12, 2019

The Minister of Public Health, the Honourable Volda Lawrence is seeking an inquest into the death of Nursing Assistant, Schenise Apple who was found dead in her apartment at the nurses’ quarters in Mahdia. This decision was taken after meeting with Dexter Copeland and Shonette Apple, the parents of the deceased.

Initially, the Ministry of Public Health, along with the Guyana Police Force (GPF), treated the investigation as a suspected suicide. However, following a meeting with the grieving family members the minister determined that an inquest was necessary.

I it is only in that way we will be able to have a deeper investigation into what really happened, so I am asking for an inquest… I am happy that I’m taking this step… All the answers to questions MUST come out in that inquest” Minister Lawrence stated.

The family of Nurse Schenise said that have not yet received a report officially stating the cause of death. Meanwhile, the father Dexter Copeland had queries that he wished answered. The minister noted that an inquest would address this.

The family also asked that the Public Health Ministry be more cognisant of the security at Nurse’s quarters and hostels especially in far-flung communities.

Minister Lawrence assured that these are some of the many issues she is pushing to address within the health sector.

“This is not a one-off, we will forever keep this in our minds because we are sending people’s children, away from their comfort zone to give a service to the people and we are responsible for their safety.”

Apple was expected to return to her hometown of Linden after which she would have pursued studies in Phlebotomy at the University of Guyana (UG) to upgrade her nursing career. The family agreed that when the dust settles, they will be seeking to set up a foundation in memory of Schenise Apple.


Editor’s Note: An inquest is a judicial inquiry in common law jurisdictions, particularly one held to determine the cause of a person’s death. Conducted by a judge, jury, or government official. It is a fact-finding process. It does not deal with issues of blame or responsibility for death.