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Hospital Politics, Patient Care And A Doctor's Suicide

Wed, 12/14/2011 - 5:03am

What causes a doctor to commit suicide? A tweet from Helen Haskell (@hask) linking to a story about a radiation oncologist from Springfield, IL brought this strange case to my attention. Dr. Thomas G. Shanahan committed suicide by cutting his throat in November of 2011. He was respected in his field, having published many research papers and traveled the world helping to set up brachytherapy clinics in several countries. He also had been an acting alderman in his home city. He left his wife and three daughters.

Why did he do it? He had a history of depression. But an event occurred the year before his death that apparently significantly affected his personal and professional life.

Perhaps this story will puzzle you as much as it did me.

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