Germanwings Co-Pilot Had Been Treated for ‘Suicidal Tendencies,’ Authorities Say
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/31/world/europe/germanwings-copilot-andreas-lubitz.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

Coping with death in any of in any of its forms is a trying experience but it is almost unimaginable what the families of victims of the Germanwings crash are going through. Hundreds of investigators have been assigned to work on the case to determine what happened and why it happened so hopefully they get to the bottom quickly. What is currently known is that Andreas Lubitz, a 27 year old co-pilot, denied access to the pilot after he left the cockpit and flew the air bus straight into the French Alps killing all 150 passengers onboard. It is currently under investigation whether Mr. Lubitz acted on previous suicidal tendencies or if there were other factors in play.
One issue that this article raises is doctor patient confidentiality and what the right balance is when an individual’s mental health could devastate the lives of hundreds. From German wings authorities it seems that pilots are required to disclose all history of mental illness but there is no way to determine whether the pilot is lying. At present they don’t have lie detectors hooked up to the pilots fingers but maybe this event will change that! When 150 lives are lost due possibly to the mental illness of one man, it seems every precaution should be taken to secure those lives that are entrusted to the airline’s care.
The article mentioned that at any given time about 1/14 Americans suffer from some form of depression. This is truly staggering and highlights the need to educate ourselves about mental illness and teach ourselves the methods to combat it. While our own mental illness might not cost 150 lives, our mental state likely effects many more lives than we can approximate.

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