Suicides by cancer sufferers in Moscow is causing alarm

MOSCOW (AP) — Alarmed by a rash of suicides by cancer sufferers in Moscow, health officials are urging those unable to get access to necessary pain killers to contact the Russian Health Ministry directly.

More than 10 people suffering from cancer have taken their lives in Moscow in the past four months, including a cardiologist and a psychology professor.

The most recent suicide occurred last week, when a 36-year-old man hanged himself. Many of these people were said to have been in unbearable pain.

Health Ministry spokesman Oleg Salagai said Sunday in a radio interview that many medical clinics weren’t dispensing narcotic pain killers, such as morphine, as required. He urged any cancer patients unable to get the necessary drugs to contact the ministry, either on a dedicated phone line or by email.

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