Court orders doc held over baby's death
TT/The Local · 6 Mar 2009, 12:23
Published: 06 Mar 2009 12:23 GMT+01:00
- Doctor accused of murdering child (04 Mar 09)
The doctor must now spend a week in a detention centre while prosecutors continue interviewing witnesses as a part of the investigation.
Additional interrogations are expected to take place with the attending nurses who worked with the doctor on September 20th last year, the date the doctor is suspected of having ended the life of the newborn to save it from further suffering.
According to unconfirmed reports published in newspaper Aftonbladet, the baby girl had suffered brain damage during a previous hospital visit.
According to the head of the Solna District Court, a autopsy report is at the heart of the criminal suspicions.
The report shows that the infant had received an exceedingly high dose of sodium thiopental and morphine.
“It’s most likely that the doctor delivered the high dose,” said chief judge Lars Lindström.
If prosecutors decide to bring formal charges, they are to be filed by 11am on March 13th at the latest, at which time the doctor’s detention will be reviewed.
According to Sweden’s criminal code, manslaughter entails a “premeditated death” but isn’t considered a murder because it is “less serious” or can be seen as less serious because of “the circumstances which led up to the deed”.
Manslaughter carries a penalty of between six and ten years in prison.
Prior to the remand order, the doctor’s attorney, Björn Hurtig, had rejected the notion that his client should be detained upon hearing of the prosecutor’s request.
“We dispute it outright,” he said.
The doctor denies that there is probable cause to suspect that any crime has been committed whatsoever, let alone that it was she who committed it.
She claims, according to her attorney, that the suffering she'll endure while in detention outweighs the prosecutor’s reasons for wanting to have her deprived of her liberty.
The public and the media were barred from entering the courtroom during until the remand hearing was over and the court had made its decision.
The suspected doctor, a paediatrician at Astrid Lindgren’s Children’s Hospital, hid under a dark green jacket, which she pulled up high over her head as she entered the hearing room.