Intended for healthcare professionals


Warshafsky did not intend to kill himself with fentanyl, coroner concludes

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 22 June 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2757


Julien Warshafsky: how this doctor died and what it tells us about the system that failed him

  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

A trainee anaesthetist who died after injecting himself with fentanyl did not kill himself intentionally, a coroner has concluded. Julien Warshafsky, 31, died from a drug related accident, said Karen Henderson, assistant coroner for Surrey.

The newly married trainee stole fentanyl at work and, after going on sick leave, obtained the drug over the internet with bitcoin. But employers, trainers, and other professionals dealing with him failed to recognise that he was addicted to the drug and thought he was using it, as he claimed, to self treat for his depression. He never received treatment for his addiction.1

On 28 June 2016 he was found by his wife, Mariana, slumped over a bed at their flat when she returned from work as an intensive care nurse. He had stopped breathing. He had been on sick leave since December 2015, when …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription