Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Suraj Pancholi rightly got bail in the Jiah Khan suicide case

If an impulsive suicidal ideation has an element of obsession then it requires an early diagnosis to prevent suicide and not blame the person on whom the victim is obsessive.
Obsession is a disease and needs to be treated. Suicidal thoughts at some point occur in as many as 50% of the patients with impulsive compulsive obsession. Suicide attempts are reported in 25% of individuals with OCD. Presence of co-morbid depressive disorders increases the risk of suicidal attempts.
It appeared from the media reports that Jiah was suffering from both - underlying depression with OCD.
Obsessions are defined as recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or images that are experienced at some time during the disturbances as intrusive and inappropriate and with marked anxiety or distress. Compulsions are defined as repeated behavior or mental act of the person drawn to perform in response to the obsession or according to rule that must be applied rigidly.
While giving the bail, Justice Sadhna said – “No doubt that it was an unfortunate incident that the young girl has committed suicide, she (Jiah) must have been impulsive and he (Suraj) cannot be solely responsible for it”.
 Justice Sadhna said that “unless there is that element of intention or motive (mens rea), a person cannot be responsible for the act. The very fact that she had suicidal tendency and earlier also had attempted suicide, she obviously was a patient of underlying depression.”

If Suraj was responsible, then equally responsible were the doctors who treated her in the first incidence for suicidal attempt; family members who knew about the suicidal attempts as well as the society who helped her in coming out of depression and not disclosing it to her parents.

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