Kimberly Rogers Inquest -
Tues., Nov. 19, 2002 - Day 21
Dr. Isaac Sakinofsky, the expert witness on suicide, testified as follows:
- 4000 mg of amitriptyline was missing from pill bottle - assuming K. Rogers was compliant in taking of her meds.
- Overdose was at least 13 times what was prescribed. There wasn't a flurry of this stuff in K. Rogers' stomach but there was a lethal amount in her blood.
- Amitriptyline is a very dangerous, cardiotoxic antidepressant from TCA family of medication. 1600 - 2000 mg dosage needed to be lethal.
- In his view, K. Rogers did not take the amitriptyline to go to sleep or because she needed it, but to die. The amount of amitriptyline K. Rogers had in her system was two to two-and-a-half times the lethal dosage.
- There's a gradation involved in suicide - It's "shades across a spectrum"
- Research shows that approximately 37 % of people who attempt suicide do so merely as a "coping mechanism" while a further 40 % take an overdose as a means of temporarily escaping intolerable stress. A further 15 % don't care if they live or die and attempt suicide as a trial by ordeal hoping Prince or Princess Charming will rescue them from their situation. Only 7 % fully intend to die when they attempt suicide -- Those in this category often go into the woods or check into a hotel room to commit suicide.
- Recommends that doctors prescribe amitriptyline only as a last resort after other less dangerous drugs first. He doesn't want to see TCAs disappear (amitriptyline is in the TCA family of meds) but he does want to see doctors respect it.
- Doctors need to have opportunities to hear what's changing in the medical arena.
- Dr. Sakinofsky also commented on the social factors involved in Ms. Rogers' life and death: the welfare fraud conviction and house arrest. Quote: "Before you hand someone a sentence, you need to know that the sentence won't break a person." sparked an objection from the counsel for Public Safety. Coroner allowed it and stated that (impact of) "sentencing of Ms. Rogers may have played a role in her death".