Veille documentaire MTPH

Médecine du travail du personnel hospitalier

Suicide of physicians in the special wards of Tokyo Metropolitan area

Auteur     Wakako Hikiji
Auteur     Tatsushige Fukunaga
Volume     22
Pages     37-40
Publication     Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
ISSN     1878-7487
Date     Feb 2014
Résumé     Numerous studies on physician suicide in various countries have been reported but no data from Japan on the issue can be found to date. In this study, physician suicides in the special wards of Tokyo Metropolitan area in 1996-2010 were investigated retrospectively. A total of 87 cases were enrolled. The results suggested that physician suicide has been linked to pre-existing psychiatric illnesses and occupational problems, and that psychiatrists have a relatively higher suicide risk compared to those majoring in other specialities of medicine. A distinctive feature was that 19 cases had used either drugs or devices which were accessible due to their profession some time during the process of committing suicide. Another notable feature was that 4 out of 5 anaesthesiologists enrolled in the study had chosen poisoning for their suicide method, with the drugs frequently used in their speciality. The findings advocate strongly for efficient suicide prevention measures for physicians including an early detection and treatment of psychiatric illnesses, as well as an urgent need for a more effective pharmacy management in applicable institutions together with the implementation of self discipline on each physician. This is the first broad academic study on physician suicide in Japan.

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