Russian admiral's suicide prompts health investigation

Feb. 12, 2014 at 4:11 PM

MOSCOW, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- A retired Russian navy admiral suffering from terminal cancer killed himself and blamed the government for his inability to obtain painkillers.

Vyacheslav Apanasenko, a retired rear admiral who was in charge of the nation's missile systems, shot himself in the head last week and left a suicide note blaming the Russian health ministry's bureaucracy for failing to allot him the prescription painkillers to ease his suffering, the Moscow Times reported.

The scandal has prompted Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodetes to order a full investigation into health ministry regulations for oncologists and their terminal patients.

"I am ready to suffer myself, but seeing the anguish of my family and relatives is unbearable," Apanasenko's note said.

Apanasenko's wife and daughter said his doctor had authorized a prescription for painkillers but they were unable to fill the prescription because they did not have the required signatures on a form to be submitted to a pharmacy.

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