• 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)

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
Business & Money
American sales squeeze Ericsson profits
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg presents the third-quarter earnings report at the company's headquarters in Kista. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

American sales squeeze Ericsson profits

Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson reported a decline in net profit in the third quarter despite an increase in sales, boosted by business in emerging markets. READ  

Interview
'Too many concerts feel the same'
Sofar hosts secret gigs in Swedish apartments. Photo: Sofar

'Too many concerts feel the same'

Kattis Bjork founded Stockholm's secret gig scene - Sofar - a year ago. The Local caught up with her as she prepared to celebrate the project's anniversary this weekend and revealed the concept will spread to other Swedish cities in 2015. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden calls off suspect submarine search
Ships are returning to shore in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden calls off suspect submarine search

The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder. READ  

Business & Money
US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks
Ed Carbaugh prepares to install parts on a truck engine on an assembly line at Volvo Trucks' powertrain manufacturing facility in Hagerstown, Maryland, March 2014. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks

Sweden's Volvo, the world's second-largest maker of trucks, said Friday it saw a spike in profits in the third quarter, boosted by thriving sales in the US and Japanese markets. READ  

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery
Cigarettes and beer photo: Shutterstock

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery

Inspectors who were sent to shut down a doctor’s surgery in Gothenburg were physically attacked and fled the premises to get help from the police. READ  

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water
A Swede loads a car with alcohol in northern Germany. File photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water

Swedish police say they will pay a man 16,000 kronor ($2,200) in damages after much of the alcohol they confiscated from him was stolen, while many of the bottles they returned were filled with water. READ  

Diplomacy
US to get first female ambassador in Sweden
File photo: Athena Center for Leadership Studies

US to get first female ambassador in Sweden

The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. READ  

Neo-Nazi attacks
Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian
Police intervene after neo-Nazis attack an anti-Nazi rally in Kärrtorp, December 2013. Photo: Hampus Andersson/TT

Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian

A Stockholm court has cleared three neo-Nazis of stabbing a Nigerian man in an unprovoked attack. But two of the men will face jail after they were convicted of racial agitation at a riot. READ  

Julian Assange
Assange court ruling expected on Monday
Julian Assange at Ecuador's embassy in the UK. Photo: Anthony Devlin

Assange court ruling expected on Monday

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can expect the next court ruling on his case to take place on Monday October 27th in Stockholm. READ  

Politics
Sweden to get EU 'Christmas present'
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven at an EU summit in Brussels this week. Photo: TT

Sweden to get EU 'Christmas present'

Sweden is set to get 1.2 billion kronor ($168 million) back from the EU on December 1st, according to leaked EU documents which suggest that other European countries will have to make large top-up payments this year. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
Blog updates

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 

24 October

Is darkness weather? (Blogweiser) »

"I try very hard not to talk about the weather. This has come after a decade..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
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

991
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
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN