35-year-old doctor Joshua Burke was found dead on June 14 after not getting the treatment he needed.
Mr. Burke, a violin protégé who graduated with a first-class degree from the Royal College of Music and toured with the London Chamber Orchestra, just graduated as a doctor from Warwick University in 2019.
In an interview with the Mail, Mr. Burke’s older sister, Zoe, said that her brother was ‘failed’ by the NHS because he was not treated for his condition during the lockdown.
As the junior doctor’s relatives explained, the 35-year-old suffered from depression. They also insisted that he would still be alive if it hadn’t been for the pandemic.
“He went to the doctor and self-prescribed what he needed and they had a doctor-to-doctor chat, where what really should have happened was that my brother was severely unwell and he should have been referred to psychiatric services,” Zoe said.
“When Joshua didn’t return surely the doctor should have chased it up but (he) wasn’t because of the stress of lockdown and insufficient funding for mental health in general. He slipped through the net. He was failed.”
The mother-of-two continued: “Right now there is so little help for mental health and it has become such a major issue in lockdown. I genuinely think my brother would not have taken his own life now if it hadn’t been for lockdown.
“The last time I saw him, he was just very jolly with me but there was always this undercurrent and he was suffering from lockdown boredom.”
As Zoe expressed, she feels “angry” knowing that her brother would still be alive if it wasn’t for the lockdown.
“The last time I went to visit him he said that he hoped that I might have brought my daughter, and can you imagine how it breaks my heart to think he might still be here if I did,” she added.
According to Mr. Burke’s uncle, Peter Schroder, the young doctor was an “intelligent, well read, hardworking, empathetic, and humorous” person.
“But he struggled with ethical problems in medicine, his growing depression and corona isolation. He may not have asked loudly enough for the needed help,” Schroder wrote.
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