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BABY 'EUTHANASIA' CASE
Doc freed in baby death case reports colleagues

Doc freed in baby death case reports colleagues

Published: 29 Mar 2012 07:14 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 Mar 2012 07:14 GMT+02:00

The doctor who was cleared in the infant euthanasia case in October last year has reported her colleagues to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) for giving what turned out to be a fatal dose of the anesthetic thiopental to the prematurely born and brain damaged baby.

According to the trade paper Läkartidningen, the woman has written in her report that several colleagues administered the drug to the baby without entering it in her medical notes.

It was the discovery of lethal levels of thiopental in the baby’s system that led to the suspicions against the doctor in the first place.

During the trial, a nurse testified that she has witnessed thiopental being administered to the little girl on two occasions and there are documents that indicate another two times she was given the drug, but this had not been entered into the baby’s medical chart.

The doctor also criticized the hospital in her report saying that she had previously brought the un-recorded doses to the attention of her superiors without them acting on it.

The case stems from the death of a 3-month-old infant girl at the Astrid Lindgren Children's hospital in Stockholm in September 2008.

The girl was terminally ill and had serious brain damage after having been born 15 weeks prematurely. The birth was complicated and the baby was born unconscious due to a lack of oxygen.

In consultations with the parents, the girl was taken off life support on September 20th, 2008.

A month later, the girl's parents filed a complaint with police alleging the newborn hadn't received proper treatment after an autopsy revealed the infant had received abnormally high doses of thiopental.

During the trial, the parents said that the care their baby had received prior to her death was "beneath contempt".

But in acquitting the doctor in October, the court said it could not be determined exactly how high a dose the baby had received, nor how the baby received the anaesthetic, and therefore the doctor could not be found guilty.

The Local/rm

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Your comments about this article

10:31 March 29, 2012 by J Jack
Are there no inventories kept for the drugs cabinet? Just trace the missing medicine and you've got your mercy killer .. CSI 101.
10:48 March 29, 2012 by karex
The truly sad part about all of this is that I suspect that had they performed a C-section, for instance as the birth was "extremely difficult", the child may not have suffered the brain damage to begin with. Avoiding surgical intervention to save money costs lives.
17:30 March 29, 2012 by Puffin
@karex

You obviously have not been following this case for the past few years

The Local's article is actully factually incorrect - the child was effectvely killed by medical negligence at another hospital where the child was born when a nurse accidently administered an overdose of medicine leaving the child brain dead - tests carried out at Astrid Lindgren's revealed the extent of the damage and it was decided to remove the child from a respirator and allow her to die:

- the nurse who administerd the overdose received a mere warning

- the doctor who was on duty when the child was removed from the respirator to die was prosecuted for manslaughter on the basis that she may have hastened the child's death by an hour or so

Crazy system
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