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INQUEST: Doctor Commited Suicide by Powerful Anaesthetic Propofol on NHS Property
Weds 15th August 2012 , Yellow Advertiser

A DOCTOR committed suicide on NHS property with the same hospital-grade anaesthetic used in Michael Jackson’s manslaughter.

An inquest heard last week that Dr Alexander Stone, who worked as a consultant anaesthetist at Southend Hospital, took his life in April at doctors’ accommodation in Balmoral Road, Westcliff.

He had been living there with his new partner, Dr Sarah Mapplebeck, a consultant clinical biochemist, who discovered his body on April 12.
There was a syringe in the back of his left hand.

Dr Mapplebeck had become concerned when Dr Stone did not arrive for work that afternoon. She attempted to call him several times but got no answer.

Accompanied by three hospital colleagues, she returned to their shared accommodation on Balmoral Road.

The group found Dr Stone on a single bed in one of the back bedrooms.

He had removed his watch and placed it beside him, but was still wearing the clothes he had worn for work that morning.

Close to his body were two vials of propofol - the powerful anaesthetic that killed Michael Jackson – and a vial of muscle relaxant vecuronium bromide.

CPR was attempted and paramedics were called but Dr Stone could not be resuscitated.

Last Thursday, at Southend Court, the coroner Dr Peter Dean ruled that Dr Stone had taken his own life.

He said Dr Stone been going through a ‘difficult divorce’ from his wife Rachel, with whom he had two young children, and had been ‘very down’.

Dr Dean said: “From all of the evidence that we have, it is clear that he would have intended the consequences of his actions.”

He said statements from Dr Stone’s colleagues showed him to be a popular, award-winning member of staff. He was the hospital’s clinical lead for three services and was chairman of the Resuscitation Committee.

He had also served as chairman of the Department of Anaesthesia and Critical, but had left the position 12 days before his death.

Jacqueline Totterdell, chief executive of Southend Hospital, said: “Dr Stone was a highly skilled and dedicated anaesthetist who was totally committed to caring for his patients and helping and inspiring his younger colleagues.

“He was a very highly regarded and hugely popular member of our staff – as was evident by the heartfelt tributes left after his sad death. We miss him very much.”


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Charles Thomson - Sky News