Hero doctor dies by suicide, and yes, she’s a hero—and she deserves to be honored.
Lorna Breen, a top NYC doctor who recovered from Coronavirus, was in “excruciating” emotional pain watching so many patients die. With no history of mental illness, yet clearly traumatized, she succumbed to suicide on Sunday, April 26.
Some feel that honoring physician suicide victims alongside doctors who died from Covid is disrespectful to their losses. Yet acute respiratory distress and acute mental health distress due to Covid are both real medical conditions. Both are deadly. Both kill physicians.
PTSD among health professionals will claim more lives. I’ve spoken to thousands of distressed and suicidal doctors. They are not weak. They should not be punished by medical boards or hospitals for needing psychiatric help—a huge deterrent to care. Doctors are suffering and deserve our help, compassion, and respect.
Please join me today in ending the stigma by honoring Dr. Lorna Breen—a true hero.