Driving Russia’s cancer patients to suicide

Categories: Uncategorized.
In February last year, the suicide of a distinguished navy commander rattled Russia’s social sphere. Former Rear Admiral Vyacheslav Apanasenko died in the hospital after attempting to shoot himself, following a prolonged battle with cancer. “Do not blame anyone but the Health Ministry and the government. I was prepared to suffer, but watching my loved ones struggle has proven too much,” his suicide note said.
His death wasn’t an exception: Just that March, at least another eight cancer patients took their lives.
Moscow’s deputy mayor for social issues, Leonid Pechatnikov, however, did not seem too shaken. He blamed not the health services, but seasonal affective disorder (a standing joke excuse for all sorts of questionable behavior in Russia) for the increase in suicides, saying: “People don’t want to torture themselves, or their relatives. This is their version of euthanasia.”

In a better world this situation would lead to a swift reconsideration of policy and reform, and a call for the deputy mayor’s resignation. But Pechatnikov is still in office, and, just in February this year alone, a further 11 cancer patients took their own lives, with at least four more following in May including a pensioner, a nuclear scientist and a psychology professor.

Read the full article on The Russian Times website.

She asks: “Eighteen months and more than a dozen reported suicides later, how many people will have to take their lives until a critical mass is reached to begin work on a health care system that will actually benefit the people it purports to treat?”

Read the full article on The Russian Times website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *