Not one to pass up a good “I told you so”, Law Med previously stated with confidence that nurse Jacintha Saldanha was not free from serious mental issues when she found herself involved in the so-called Royal Hoax for a total of 9 seconds. Three days later she hung herself with a scarf in hospital living quarters. We now know that she had two previous recent suicide attempts, none of which was associated with someone playing a practical joke on her.
We said on December 10th the following:
One thing that is preposterous to believe: Saldanha was happy and well-adjusted at the moment the phone rang at 5:30 am in reception at King Edward VII Hospital. That the transfer of the phone call and the ensuing minor media blip would cause a mentally healthy nurse, anonymous to the world, to commit suicide is utterly ridiculous. You simply do not live for 46 years and obtain a job at the private hospital for royalty in London by being a picture of mental health but somehow also ready to fall to pieces in a suicidal nervous breakdown at the drop of a hat.
Saldanha was found dead three days after taking a phone call at London’s King Edward VII Hospital from radio DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian. The morning radio hosts in Sydney, Australia, impersonated Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles to try to pry out information on the health of Prince William’s pregnant wife Kate. Saldanha spent a total of 9 seconds on the phone with them, transferring the call to a nurses station on the ward where the patient in question was located.
On December 11th we made the following observation:
Law Med wonders if the world has gone quite mad. When all the facts come out and it is revealed that the nurse’s suicide had a significant cause other than this quite harmless prank, will the pledge of money be rescinded? Will the station’s Christmas party be back on? Will the DJs get their jobs back? Will the apologies come flooding in? Until then we have little choice but to sit back and watch as this absurd charade continues.
And now, the facts ARE coming out and the sad truth is that Jacintha Saldanha was an individual who had suffered from severe clinical depression for which she was prescribed medication after 2 serious suicide attempts a year ago. Last December 30th, during a family trip to India, Saldanah attempted suicide by ingesting pills. She was rushed to a private hospital in Mangalore, India, where she was treated for ‘self-harm’. But 9 days later she made an attempt again by jumping off a building which landed her in intensive care at Father Muller Medical College Hospital for a head injury. She was kept in the ICU for several days and then admitted to the psychiatric ward of the hospital, where she was treated for depression.
She was discharged three days later and given a nine-month course of anti-depressants. Her family was warned there was a risk that she may attempt suicide again.
Ms. Saldanha’s medication would have finished in September and it is not known if she was prescribed any more or if staff at King Edward VII’s knew of her condition.
Last night, her brother, an engineer in Mangalore, said “We didn’t know about the first incident, but we knew about the second incident at Father Muller.” He refused to give further details. The family had previously denied that she suffered from depression.
And yet the calls from the family for a full investigation and accountability from everyone but their tragically dead loved one continues unabashed. The British government continues to threaten criminal action against the DJs, who remain jobless. No one made Jacintha Saldanha kill herself. She apparently did it in self-defense.
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