Kentucky inmate starves to death, doctors being investigated

One doctor has been fired and another is being dismissed from the Kentucky State Penitentiary after an inmate went on a hunger strike and committed suicide by starving himself to death. According to documents obtained by The Associated Press, the Department of Corrections terminated physician Steve Hiland and will soon cut loose psychologist Jean Hinkebein. The firings stem from the Jan. 13 death of 57-year-old James Kenneth Embry, who was serving a nine-year sentence for drug offenses.

An internal investigation done by the Corrections Department concluded that the doctors missed multiple signs that Embry was slowly committing suicide by refusing food and that Hiland signed off on nurses’ notes without seeing patients.

Hiland has denied wrongdoing. Hinkebein declined to comment.

The Kentucky Attorney General’s Office is conducting a criminal review of Embry’s death.

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