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Birmingham University medical student Ewan Fawcitt, 19, from Truro, took his own life

By West Briton  |  Posted: January 21, 2014

A MEDICAL student from Truro took his own life after developing depression, an inquest has found.

Ewan Fawcitt was 19 and in the second year of study for a degree in medicine at Birmingham University when he killed himself in Truro on January 14 last year, the hearing in Truro was told.

The inquest was first opened and adjourned in September last year while Cornwall deputy coroner Andrew Cox sought formal responses from the university and from Mr Fawcitt's GP.

Following the finding that he committed suicide, the hearing was told that the university medical practice which had been treating Mr Fawcitt would now be carrying out a "significant event review".

A letter to the coroner from Sanjiv Basra, Mr Fawcitt's GP, said he had diagnosed depression and prescribed the antidepressant drug Citalopram.

Dr Basra's letter said: "There was no doubt in my mind concerning Ewan's diagnosis. I counselled him at length on the diagnosis and the treatment."

The inquest heard that on one occasion Mr Fawcitt was taken to an accident and emergency unit in Birmingham after consuming too much alcohol, and on a separate occasion missed an appointment with his GP.

In a letter to the coroner Chris Twine, director of student services at the University of Birmingham, wrote: "There is ample evidence that the staff leading the BMed Sci (Bachelor of Medical Sciences) programme ... correctly advised that he (Ewan) seek expert medical advice."

Dr Twine said there was extensive support for students at the university but that it "no longer operates in loco parentis as it once did".

Mr Cox said he would write to the university and to the medical practice and ask for the minutes of the significant event review to be sent to Mr Fawcitt's family.

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