Truro hospital doctor's suicide after devastating HIV diagnosis
An "exceptional" hospital doctor took his own life after he was told the devastating news that he was HIV-positive, an inquest into his death heard.
The court was told Juzar Adamjee, 31, who worked in the Royal Cornwall Hospitals medical admissions unit (MAU), had injected himself with a lethal cocktail of drugs commonly used at the hospital.
He was discovered at his home in Lanner, near Redruth, on June 22 last year by a nurse and doctor who became concerned when he failed to attend an out-patients appointment following his HIV test results.
Giving evidence at the inquest, Detective Constable Jonathon Bray ruled out any third party involvement saying Dr Adamjee was found in bed surrounded by photographs of his family.
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At his side was a note addressed ‘To Mummy’.
DC Bray said: “When he became aware of the medical results that he had a terminal illness it appeared that he could not carry on with his life. My understanding was that he had been diagnosed as HIV-positive.”
Toxicology reports showed he had injected ketamine and propofol, which are both anaesthetics, and atracurium, a muscle relaxant.
The Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT) interim medical director, Duncan Browne, told the assistant coroner for Cornwall, Andrew Cox, that all three drugs are commonly found at locations around the hospital and that Dr Adamjee had access to them during his work.
When asked if he was happy that controls on the use of drugs were appropriate Dr Browne said yes, adding: “Doctors and nurses need access to the drugs which are locked in store cupboards.”
Mr Cox also asked the interim medical director whether HIV posed a risk to any of the patients treated by the doctor.
Dr Browne said Dr Adamjee had not carried out any procedures that caused concern to patients.
Recording a verdict of suicide Mr Cox said that the doctor's drugs overdose and note to his mother, following his HIV test results, showed that he intended to take his own life, adding: "We are without an excellent doctor as a result"
In a statement following the inquest the RCHT added: “The trust followed the national assessment guidance for infection in healthcare professionals.
“Dr Adamjee was not involved in exposure prone procedures and it would not have been necessary to restrict the extent of his clinical practice as result of his illness.”
A statement to the court by Dr Adamjee’s sister, Salma Najefy, explained that her brother was born in Mombassa in Kenya and that he grew up wanting to be a doctor.
She further said that having spoken to her brother a week prior to his death he seemed his normal self and that his death came as a great shock to his family, adding: "I find it hard to believe that he would end his life. He was a big personality who lived life to the full. His memory will live on because he has achieved so much. He was a loving son, brother and a truly caring doctor.”
Speaking after the hearing Dr Browne said Dr Adamjee’s colleagues were deeply saddened by his death and offered their “sincerest condolences” to his family and friends.
He added: “Juzar was an exceptional doctor, liked and respected universally by his colleagues and patients. This is a tragic loss, not only to his family and friends but also to the medical profession and patients.”