Indian nurse's suicide: British MP demands full inquiry into death
- Dec 12, 2012, 08:48 AM IST
London: Labour MP Keith Vaz has demanded a full inquiry into the death of an Indian-origin nurse, who apparently took her own life after she was duped by a prank call made to a British hospital treating Prince William's pregnant wife Kate Middleton.
Jacintha Saldanha, 46, died after a suspected suicide last Friday after she was fooled by two Australian radio hosts, who made a hoax call to the King Edward VII Hospital in Marylebone, central London. A post-mortem on her body is due to be held shortly.
Vaz on Tuesday evening said the nurse's family has been given less support than the Australian DJs -- who posed as the Queen and the Prince of Wales -- behind last Tuesday's stunt, as Benedict Barboza, 49, the husband of Saldanha, along with their children Lisha, 14, and Junal, 16, met the Labour MP.
Vaz demanded a full inquiry into Saldanha's death after meeting the family at the House of Commons.
The radio hosts of 2Day FM, who were behind the prank call, have been given counselling because of their "fragile" mental state.
Saldanha's family members last night made a private visit to the hospital and were said to have been comforted by a senior member of staff.
Vaz, who has been supporting Saldanha's family, said her devastated husband and children had yet to be visited by or receive help from bosses at the private hospital.
He also claimed that police - not her employer - broke the news of the dedicated nurse's death after her body had been found at staff accommodation last Friday.
"They want the facts to be established so that they can effectively grieve. What is needed, clearly, is an inquiry by the hospital into how this tragic case happened."
Vaz said the chief executive of King Edward VII Hospital should have personally phoned Saldanha's husband, and even gone to his Bristol home, to tell him of his wife's death because that "would have been the right thing to do."
The MP said that while the focus had been on the emotional apologies of DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian "who haven't lost a loved one," the needs of Barboza and his children had been overlooked.
"There are a loving husband and two kids here who are grieving - they expected to see their mum come home on Friday and that never happened," he said. "We have the Australian DJs who are getting all this counselling, but what about the family? What about support for them?"
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