On July 23, 2022, Amy Winehouse entered the sad “Club of 27”, this tragic group which brings together a large number of artists who died at the age of 27, including Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin or even Jim Morrison. It was on a summer afternoon, around 3 p.m., that Amy Winehouse’s private bodyguard discovered her unconscious in the bedroom of her flat in Camden, north London. After dropping by for the first time at 10 a.m. and seeing her sprawled out on her bed, still dressed, a laptop computer and two empty vodka bottles nearby, Andrew Morris figured Amy was still sleeping. Only when he came back and saw her lying in the same position, the man felt the anxiety rising. After having looked for his pulse and his breathing, without result, the bodyguard called the emergency services which, once arrived on the spot, could only note the death of Amy Winehouse and pronounce the hour of death.
A questionable first autopsy report
According to the Guardian, two autopsy reports were carried out after the death of Amy Winehouse. It was the medical examiner Suzanne Greenaway who was in charge of the first and the latter concluded that it was a reckless homicide due to alcohol intoxication. If the conclusions seem legitimate – without being really accurate – the doctor’s place to draw them, it was not. Indeed it was discovered in the months following the autopsy that dr. Suzanne Greenaway did not have the proper qualifications to perform this kind of procedure. Hired by her husband, she was forced to resign, just like the latter.
A second report that confirms the tragedy
When Amy Winehouse’s second autopsy report was completed, Dr. Shirley Radcliffe came to the same conclusion. Quoted in the Guardian, she concluded that Amy Winehouse “willfully drank alcohol and it was a deliberate act which had unintended consequences and caused her death”. According to Time, the singer who had managed to win over audiences far beyond the United Kingdom had not drunk for the whole month before her death and it was this abstinence that could have multiplied the effects of the large amount of alcohol tenfold. alcohol she consumed on the day of her death. Toxicology tests reveal that Amy Winehouse had 4.16g of alcohol per liter of blood when she died, more than five times the legal limit for driving in the UK. This amount of alcohol is also sufficient to plunge into a coma and cause respiratory distress since the rate of 3.5g per liter of blood is already considered to be capable of causing death.
The day before her death, on the evening of July 22, 2011, Amy Winehouse had a visit from her general practitioner, Dr. Christina Romete. The latter explained to the BBC that when she saw her patient, Amy Winehouse said explicitly that she did not want to die, even if “she did not know if she would ever be able to stop drinking. She had plans for the future” she explained, thus dismissing the trail of suicide. During their conversation, Amy Winehouse also confided that she hadn’t had a drink since July 3, 2011, but that she had started drinking again on July 20 out of boredom. The 27-year-old then apologized to her GP for wasting her time, a meaningful reflex for the singer in distress.
Treatments: too much or not enough?
The dr. Christina Romete, who had been following Amy Winehouse for several years, explained that her patient had a treatment to counter the more violent effects of the withdrawal from drugs and alcohol she was undergoing, which was also supposed to help her with her anxiety. The librium that had been prescribed to him was also singled out as a possible cause of his death, but the reality is much more complex. Indeed, despite her alcoholism and addiction problems, Amy Winejouse refused to undergo therapy or any psychiatric treatment, for fear of stifling her inspiration and losing her talents as a composer. Despite her efforts, her doctor therefore points out that as soon as she managed to get off the drug, Amy plunged back into alcohol consumption. According to the judicial inquiry, however, she was weaned from the various drugs she may have consumed – heroin, coke, ecstasy, cannabis – at the time of her death. But the sequence of his periods of abstinence and binge-drinking punctuated his short life.
The real causes of Amy Winehouse’s death
A lifelong drug and alcohol abuser, Amy Winehouse battled addiction for years before it finally got the better of her. If it was alcohol poisoning that caused his death on July 23, 2011, however, multiple causes led to this tragic conclusion. The singer, as her brother told the Guardian, “severely suffered from bulimia”. And according to him, “it weakened her. If she hadn’t had an eating disorder, she would have been in better shape, physically stronger.”
In addition to alcoholism and addiction to various drugs, Amy Winehouse suffered from eating disorders and mental disorders, including anxiety. To these diseases was added fame and all that it entails: public pressure, invasion of privacy, omnipresent paparazzi… Amy Winehouse had to fight against multiple enemies in addition to the permanent fight against her- even she was forced to lead. His death remains the symptom of a society where certain invisible problems linked to an inherent malaise are still too largely ignored or underestimated.
Amy Winehouse © AFTONBLADET BILD