KEM doctor suicide: Police register dowry case against husband — (The Indian Express)

SSRI Ed note: "Cheerful" physician experiencing marital stress takes antidepressants, dies by suicide.

Original article no longer available

The Indian Express

Express News Service

Posted: Jan 07, 2009 at 0031 hrs IST

Mumbai A day after Rohini Sonawane the 25-year-old resident doctor at King Edward Memorial Hospital committed suicide, police officials investigating the case have registered a complaint against the doctor’s husband Ganesh Sonawane (a doctor practicing in Dhulia). The police took the step after her father complained of an alleged demand for dowry of Rs 25 lakh.

Rohini, a first year resident doctor committed suicide on late Monday evening at the hostel next to KEM Hospital allegedly due to marital dispute. She was on anti-depression pills and was consulting a psychiatrist at the hospital.

“On the complaint of the deceased’s father, we have filed a case of dowry death and abetting suicide against her husband,” said inspector Gadekar investigating officer from Kalachowkie police station. Meanwhile the psychiatry department at the hospital is all set to strengthen their suicide prevention programme for the staff at the hospital.

Dr Shubhangi Parkar, professor and head, department of psychiatry said, “In her case, it was personal problem leading to depression and suicide. But there are many other doctors and undergraduate students who reel under exam and performance pressure.” “Though she had full support from her colleagues, she was never accompanied by her family members. With whatever we could gauge in the two sittings, she was very happy with her work and studies. She was depressed with some personal problems but did not open up. We had asked her to bring her family members for the next meeting,” she added.

According to the psychiatrists at the hospital, more than 90 percent of the students preparing for their final year MBBS exams, take sleeping pills.

There has been a surge in instances of overworked doctors committing suicide. Two years back, KEM Hospital had started special training sessions to equip both doctors and nurses identify suicidal tendencies in themselves and their colleagues.

Since August last year, batches of nurses and fresh doctors at the KEM Hospital have been trained on possible symptoms to look out. “Nurses, doctors and every person involved in the medical set-up are being trained psychologically according to a module specially prepared to make them strong enough to handle any thoughts about ending life,” said Parkar. “Earlier only fresh graduates were trained but now even post graduate students will be included in the programme,” she added.

“Suicide is after all a preventive mortality and so we are trying our best to check it,” said Parkar. Parka added that doctors with their medical proficiency are three times more likely to actually commit suicide compared to others.

This is not the first time that a doctor has committed suicide. In May 2007 Dr Ashwini Patil an anesthetist student committed suicide at the resident quarters of civic-run Sion Hospital because she was fed up of a prolonged illness. A day later, another doctor at KEM Hospital attempted suicide due to exam pressure. “Suicidal tendency among depressed women is very high. Also choice of method shows how serious they are about suicides,” Parkar added.

Meanwhile, Dr Sonawane’s family members claimed her body. Her colleagues remember her as a cheerful person and one who always stood out during seminars and presentations