The death of Jacintha Saldhana, the nurse who unwittingly was the victim of a prank telephone call by an Australian radio station continues to be in the news. Here are the latest updates.
A post mortem will be carried out to determine the cause of death. It is widely believed and there has been much speculation that Jacintha committed suicide. Perhaps those who were first on the scene saw evidence to indicate suicide. Either way a post mortem will be neccessary to confirm the cause of death. This will be followed by an inquest later this week. Inquests are sometimes long drawn out affairs but in light of the intense media interest it is good news that it will happen quickly. However it is unlikely that the inquest will be completed this week but simply adjourned ror a later date.
Jacintha was aged 46 and had two teenage children. They and her husband are obviously heartbroken. The extended family back home in India share their grief.
Yesterday the two radio celebrities at the centre of the hoax were shown on many TV stations visibly upset. The young couple though had recorded the hoax and thus it had been approved by others in the management chain of the radio station. Southern Cross Austereo, the parent company of radio station 2Day FM, has today announced that it has set up a memorial fund for Jacintha. That will be financial comfort for the family if nothing else. The remainder of the show's profits for this year, are expected to be AUS$500,000 (£326,000). This amount will be given to the family.
Under Australian Law any person at the receiving end of such a prank has to be consulted before it goes on air. In this case the King Edward VII hospital are adamant that no person at the hospital, nor member of the management team, had approved the airing of the hoax call.
Before the inquest police from Scotland Yard may wish to interview pranskers Mr Christian and Ms Greig.
Many of us have played pranks in our time. This blogger remembers getting caught out with a prankster many years ago at work. This led to her wrongly beliveing that a genuione call was from the same pranskter. Whoops. The prankster was a colleague though and we knew a little of each other.
The trouble is that if the butt of the joke, which is what Jacintha became, is not know to you it is a dangerous game. That person could be at the end of their tether, facing a family crisis, be in poor health, suffering from depression or so much more. It is possible that is what happened in the case of Jacintha.
However the cultural differences between Jacintha and British working colleagues would mean that she would have viewed her mistake in a very different light. She may have felt extreme shame and sorrow as the British Royal Family were involved. No person can ever put themselves in the head of another even if you know them well.
Jacintha put the call through to a colleague who was the person who gave out the confidential information. Was Jacintha taken to task by this person or the hospital management? They claim that she was being supported by all the staff but you never can tell.
Having worked 13 years in an NHS hsopital this blogger knows that nursing is not necessarily the caring profession you may believe it to be. Not any more that is.
In the middle of this mess are the two young pranksters and their well being. They will need support to get through this but presumably have learned lessons. Pranks, hoaxes and jokes are nearly always funny when you are not the butt of the joke. When you are who can tell?
RIP and condolences to Jacintha's loved ones.