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Professor Hangs Himself in Lecture Hall

A 62-year-old university professor hanged himself in a lecture hall on Tuesday, the Interfax news agency reported.

The man, identified by REN TV as Ivan Braganov, was discovered by one of his colleagues at the Russian State Agrarian University.

He left no suicide note but his relatives and colleagues said they believed he had been diagnosed with cancer, Interfax reported.

Police are currently carrying out an investigation into the incident and looking into his medical records.

Last year, a spate of suicides by pensioners undergoing medical treatment for various illnesses spurred a heated debate on whether the Health Ministry was doing enough to provide them with painkillers.

The controversy was fueled largely by a suicide note left behind last February by terminally ill Rear Admiral Vyacheslav Apanasenko, who condemned the country's health care system and blamed his suicide on his inability to obtain painkillers.

The controversy prompted the government to issue a decree last summer to make it easier for seriously ill patients to gain access to painkillers. The corresponding legislation was approved by the Federation Council in late December.

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