• Sweden edition
 
Prof's privacy appeal denied by Euro court
Christopher Gillberg and wife Carina at Gothenburg district court, February 2002

Prof's privacy appeal denied by Euro court

Published: 02 Nov 2010 15:39 GMT+01:00
Updated: 02 Nov 2010 15:39 GMT+01:00

However, it has left the door open to the possibility of Professor Christopher Gillberg requesting a new trial in a new chamber with 17 judges.

Gillberg was initially handed a suspended sentenced and fined 37,500 kronor ($5,650) in 2005 for "misuse of office" from a series of incidents from 2002 to 2004.

After the judgment was upheld by a court of appeal and leave to appeal to the Supreme Court was refused on April 25th, 2006, Gillberg turned to the European Court of Human Rights.

"It means in theory that Gillberg has an opportunity to go to court and say that, 'This is fundamentally important and the majority have come to the conclusion that it is totally wrong, so I want a new trial by the court in full meeting,'" Sweden's Elisabet Fura, one of the seven judges who considered Gill's notification, told news agency TT.

Gillberg is a well known professor and the former head of the department of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Gothenburg. In his role, he carried out research on hyperactivity and attention-deficit disorders.

According to the case, in 2002, a paediatrician, "K," and a sociologist, "E," who were critical of Gillberg's research requested access to the background material, which occupied 22 metres of shelf space. Their request was refused several times by the school on the grounds of secrecy.

From 1977 to 1992, Gillberg conducted research on children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and deficits in attention, motor control and perception (DAMP). Gillberg had promised the patients and their parents absolute confidentiality.

In April 2003, the school initially limited the use and transmission of the material. These restrictions were lifted by the Administrative Court of Appeal four months later and leave to appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court was denied.

Subsequently, Gillberg asked the relevant patients and their parents if they would be prepared to have the data released and all but one family refused.

The university dean requested Gillberg transport the material to another specified university facility in August 2003, where it was agreed that K and E could have access. Gillberg refused and the meeting was cancelled.

The dean informed K and E that he could not help them any further in September 2003, but would bring Gillberg before the Public Disciplinary Board (Statens ansvarsnämnd) on the grounds of disobedience.

The university board discussed the refusal to surrender the research material and subsequently decided to refuse access to K and give restricted access to E. The Administrative Court of Appeal nullified these decisions on May 4th, 2004.

Five days later, the research material was destroyed, apparently by three of Gillberg's employees.

In addition to Gillberg, Gothenburg district court fined the dean 32,000 kronor on June 27th, 2005.

The European court's seven judges found that only two of the European Convention on Human Rights' articles provided a basis for taking up the case. The court disagreed regarding the assessment of Article 8, under which two of thejudges determined that Sweden had violated the right to freedom of expression.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

18:23 November 2, 2010 by Just_Kidding
I admire him for going into trouble to defend weak patients rather than siding with the powerful administration.
18:42 November 2, 2010 by eZee.se
The prof has my vote (and respect) for his morals and living by his word.
21:07 November 2, 2010 by Swedesmith
Sounds like a classic power struggle. My vote goes to the prof who was protecting the parents.
00:23 November 3, 2010 by Tanskalainen
This prof has integrity, I would be proud to have my daughter study under him.
04:25 November 3, 2010 by ehwhat?
"Gillberg had promised the patients and their parents absolute confidentiality." This is a contract given and accepted. It is based on time honoured ethical considerations.It is inviolable.

The Professor was absolutely correct to deny access. In similar circumstances I would do the exact same thing. In fact, I would dismiss any of my staff who acquiesced for their violation of ethics and breach of patient privacy. The Dean should be sacked for failure to properly support the Professor. I am surprised that his colleagues have not taken to the streets in what is a clear attack on the ethical core.

It is a very sad day indeed when the jobsworth rule the roost.
09:04 November 3, 2010 by engagebrain
The issue is not as clearcut as it appears.

One reason for requesting access to original data is to allow for independent assessment of a researchers conclusions and methods -mistakes/misinterpretation are always possible and, in the worst case, there is fraud.

Perhaps at the start of study consideration should have been given to following the subjects but without recording their identities - so that access by third parties to the notes was possible but could be achieved without revealing the identities of the patients.
Today's headlines
Late summer sun set to hit Sweden

Late summer sun set to hit Sweden

Forecasters have predicted sunshine across Sweden this week, with a warm front moving in from Russia and temperatures of up to 25C. READ  

International police hunt
Swedish killer arrested after European hunt
Photo: Police

Swedish killer arrested after European hunt

UPDATED: Police arrested a man on Tuesday afternoon after he went missing from a psychiatric ward in western Sweden at the weekend. The man had been convicted of murdering a five-year-old schoolgirl in 2003. READ  

Music
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Swedish singer Tove Lo. Photot: TT

The five best Swedish songs of the month

The summer may be (almost) over but the music will keep on playing here at The Local. Our resident music guru Paul Connolly will be selecting his top new Swedish tracks for us in a new monthly feature. READ  

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

African pygmy hedgehogs are being bought by growing numbers of Swedes, as a trend for keeping exotic pets sweeps the country, the Department for Animal Welfare and Health tells The Local. READ  

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden
The mushroom in this picture is not the same as the one from the story. Photo: Shutterstock

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden

A person selling freshly-picked mushrooms in Gothenburg has come under fire after it turned out the delicacies were not only poisonous but also hallucinogenic. READ  

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

The largest hacking case in Danish history began in confusion on Tuesday, after lawyers representing Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg accused the prosecution of "unreasonable" tactics. READ  

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

As H&M expands into Ethiopia, Sweden's state venture capital unit Swedfund has announced that it will back the clothing giant, in a move hoped to create more jobs for local women. READ  

Elections 2014
Social Democrats reveal election manifesto
Photo: TT

Social Democrats reveal election manifesto

UPDATED: Sweden's main opposition party the Social Democrats has revealed its election manifesto at a press conference at a high school in Stockholm, with a key focus on education and welfare benefits. READ  

Teen run over by train after 'shoplifting' chase

Teen run over by train after 'shoplifting' chase

A teenage boy is in a critical condition after he was hit by a passing metro train in Stockholm. The accident ground rail traffic to a halt, and has police suspecting attempted murder. READ  

Swimrun
Record win at Sweden's tough island race
Photo: Jakob Edholm/ÖTILLÖ14

Record win at Sweden's tough island race

Two Swedes crushed last year's course record at the Swimrun world championship in Stockholm's archipelago on Monday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
National
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
Politics
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Blog updates

02 September

America night (Blogweiser) »

" There was an event this weekend for the ‘Americans in Sweden’ Facebook group. I’m a member, and I brought my girls to the evening. The gathering was at a Boston-themed sportsbar in a mall. There were loads of screens, a bowling alley, a game room and a jumbotron. It was as good a place as any to..." READ »

 

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
How immigration became a key election issue
Society
Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

755
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se