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December 4, 2009 - Harvard Sued Over Student Suicide

The father of a Harvard student who took his own life in 2007 is suing the Massachusetts Ivy League college and the nurse and doctor who treated his son.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Middlesex Superior Court, alleges Marianne Cannon, a nurse practitioner at Harvard University Health Services, prescribed an inappropriate mix of strong medications to John Edwards and then failed to monitor him, The Boston Globe reported Friday. They included Adderall for attention deficit disorder, something the 19-year-old had never been diagnosed with before, and then Prozac and Wellbutrin to counter the effects of the first drug.

Dr. Georgia Ede, who was supervising Cannon, is also named as a defendant along with Harvard College.

"We're alleging that the supervising physician in this case did not do her job, which was to supervise the nurse who didn't have medical training that a physician has," said a lawyer representing John B. Edwards II of Wellesley, Mass. "She was writing prescriptions for powerful drugs that were inappropriate in this combination and are associated with an increase of suicide.''

The younger Edwards was a 19-year-old sophomore at the time of his death. He hoped to become a doctor.

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