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MEDICAL

Quack doctor indicted over cabbage cure for cancer

A man in his fifties in western Sweden has been indicted on twelve charges of fraud and sex offences after allegedly treating cancer patients with herbs and vegetables and sexually abusing a woman with Parkinson's disease.

The man referred to himself as a naturopath but has never possessed a valid Swedish medical licence. He is suspected of swindling his patients out of an estimated half a million kronor ($72,000), Göteborgs-Tidningen (GT) reports.

“It’s incredibly cynical to milk these people for their money,” deputy prosecutor Daniel Edsbagge told the newspaper.

Earlier this year, news emerged that the man, with an address in Borås in western Sweden, had used cabbage, basil and mussel oil to treat a woman who was terminally ill with cancer.

Prosecutors had initially looked into the man’s activities in 2007, the year in which the woman died, but were forced to drop the case due to a lack of evidence. However, when the story came to light in February this year, police began to receive a steady flow of complaints from others who had fallen victim to the phony practitioner.

The suspect was arrested on May 7th, before being released two days later following a remand hearing.

But the investigation continued into the summer and authorities were able to make contact with more victims of the unscrupulous would-be medic after a raid on his home led to the discovery of accounts and a registry of patients.

Among his victims was a woman in her sixties whose insomnia was linked by the bogus physician to problems with her vagina, which he suggested treating with a herbal remedy.

According to the prosecutor, the man primarily preyed on people with incurable illnesses. One woman with Parkinson’s disease allegedly shelled out a total of 250,000 kronor only to be sexually abused a number of times over the course of her treatment.

The suspect’s lawyer, Eva Smerling Winman, said her client denied committing any offence, GT reports.

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MEDICAL

Woman dies hours after ambulance no-show

A hospital has been reported to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) after it chose against sending an ambulance to a woman with breathing problems who died hours later from blood clotting to her lungs.

Woman dies hours after ambulance no-show

Emergency workers from the Södra Älvsborg Hospital in southern Sweden suspected the patient, who was in her forties, was simply suffering from stomach flu when she called complaining of breathing problems, diarrhoea, and fever.

They chose against picking her up, advising the woman to stay at home, where she died several hours later, shortly after another ambulance arrived.

The coroner’s report showed that the woman died from blood clotting to her lungs, according to the Borås Tidning newspaper, something the nurses couldn’t have known from the woman’s own evaluation.

“It’s a tricky case, very unusual,” Jerker Isacson, chief of medicine at the hospital, told the paper.

The incident occurred earlier in the year when winter flu was in full force, and the emergency workers were overloaded with call outs.

The hospital itself has now reported the incident to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) in accordance with Sweden’s Lex-Maria laws, the informal name for regulations governing the reporting of injuries and incidents in the healthcare system.

“We want it to be evaluated and to investigate ourself how the paramedics acted the first time. We don’t know if it was the right judgment when they were there. The nurses made no obvious mistakes or errors,” Isacson said.

“The patient had good information but we want to be as sure as possible that something similar will not happen again.”

TT/The Local/og

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