• Sweden's news in English

Convicted murderer trains as doctor

James Savage · 7 Nov 2007, 14:18

Published: 07 Nov 2007 14:18 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The institute says it accepted the man onto its medicine course without knowing of his crimes. He had been released on parole in February this year, according to Dagens Nyheter. He was sentenced to eleven years' imprisonment at the beginning of the decade. The murder was classed as a so-called hate crime.

Senior doctors have expressed dismay at the news that the man was accepted onto the course.

"I am both angry and upset that they did not know about this before the person was accepted onto the medicine course," said Eva Nilsson Bågenholm, chairwoman of the Swedish Medical Association, to news agency TT.

"Our view is that, in general, having committed murder is not compatible with being a doctor," she said.

Medical students at the Karolinska Institute are asked to give detailed biographies as part of the application process. They also have to demonstrate an ability to empathize and show social skills, maturity and tolerance.

The university says that at no point during the process did the man mention his conviction. It only came to light after two anonymous letters were received by university officials.

But Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson, President of the Karolinska Insitute, said that neither the conviction itself nor the fact that the man had failed to give a full account of his past were reason enough to expel him from the course.

"We decided that he had been accepted in a proper manner and we therefore have an obligation to give him an education. We have no right to expel someone because he or she has been imprisoned," she told Dagens Nyheter.

In an email to The Local, Wallberg-Henriksson added:

"As a government authority, Karolinska Institutet must follow the laws and regulations that apply to college and university educational programs. Swedish legislation states that, once accepted to a university program, students cannot be expelled unless they have committed a serious crime during the course of their studies.

"I fully understand that many people are upset by and question these regulations, and I believe that it is important to have an open debate about these issues."

The student told Dagens Nyheter that he had a right to a fresh start.

"If everyone were to know about everyone else's background, society would not work. There is a dialogue between me and the Karolinska Institute," he said.

Story continues below…

Swedish law does not currently allow criminal record checks to be carried out on people applying for licences to practice medicine. People aiming to work as childcare assistants, however, must undergo full criminal checks.

But this could soon change: the National Board of Health and Welfare, which is responsible for issuing permits, is investigating whether criminal background checks could be made compulsory.

"It is not good that a licence does not require a record check. When someone works in a field that is based on trust the patient should be able to feel secure," said Thomas Tegenfeldt, head of the board's unit for patient safety, to Svenska Dagbladet.

A government inquiry into patient safety is also looking at demands to require criminal checks on people working in the healthcare sector.

Politicians responsible for Stockholm's healthcare sector expressed concern at the news. Rasmus Jonlund, a spokesman for the Liberal Party on Stockholm County Council told The Local "one might wish for medicine courses to have more careful controls," but added that "we have to be careful with questions of personal integrity."

James Savage (james.savage@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Swedish PM visits Iraq for talks on Isis
Stefan Löfven (left) and Haider al-Abadi (right). Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Stefan Löfven will discuss the offensive on Mosul with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Illicit abattoir kept more than 100 bulls' penises
A couple of young bulls not related to the story. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Dried cattle genitalia, goats' heads and hundreds of litres of lard were just a few of the many strange finds discovered when police raided a property in Sweden.

This is officially Sweden's most beautiful beard
The most beautiful beard in Sweden. Photo: Memo Göcek

According to a jury of barbers and 'well known bearded profiles', that is.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm

You might think it’s hard to make friends in a new city. But if at first you don’t succeed – try something else!

Injured Swedish photographer protected by 'guardian angel'
Swedish photographer Paul Hansen on another occasion. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Photographer Paul Hansen thanked his lucky stars for surviving sniper fire while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

How Sweden is trying to smooth relations with Saudis
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven meeting Saudi Arabia's Trade Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half after relations turned frosty in a major diplomatic row.

My Swedish Career
'Swedish people love it, but they find it quite odd'
Scottish entrepreneur William Macdonald. Photo: Michael Campanella

Meet the web developer and entrepreneur using traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing to break the ice with Swedes.

Swedish photographer shot near Mosul
Hansen was being operated on in the Iraqi city of Erbil on Sunday. Photo: Nora Lorek/ TT

Paul Hansen, a photographer working for Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, has sustained light injuries after being hit by what appears to be a sniper while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission- free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available