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HOSPITAL

Swedish doc supplied drugs in overdose deaths

A Swedish doctor has been reported to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) after he prescribed massive amounts of drugs to three young adults, after which they to overdosed and died.

Swedish doc supplied drugs in overdose deaths

The police has reported the chief physiscian at a hospital in Värmland, in the northwest of Sweden, to the agency after they discovered that he had prescribed massive amounts of narcotic medication to three young adults between 18- and 19-years-old.

“They overdosed and died. The families later found large amounts of narcotics prescribed by the same doctor,” said local chief of police Rolf Sandberg to news agency TT.

During the preliminary investigations the police carried out raids against other young addicts in the area and found even more drugs originating with the same doctor.

“It is a remarkable case because it involves large quantities of drugs that have been prescribed to a large number of people and it has all originated with this doctor,” said Sandberg to daily Expressen.

According to Sandberg, the police feel that they can’t judge what is a reasonable prescription and have therefore asked the agency to look into the matter.

Meanwhile, the county council has suspended the doctor pending investigations.

“We take this very seriously. We have started an internal investigation, which will be conducted by the county chief medical officer. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but we don’t think this person should be working while the investigation is carried out,” said Gunilla Andersson, county head of hospitals and healthcare.

The National Board of Health and Welfare’s investigation will run parallel with the county’s, according to TT.

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TRANSGENDER

Sweden to stop calling transgender people ‘mentally ill’

Transgender people will no longer be classified as “mentally ill” in Sweden, the country’s main national health authority has announced, in a decision widely criticised as overdue.

Sweden to stop calling transgender people 'mentally ill'
An archive picture of Swedes protesting against classifying transgender people as mentally ill. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT
Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare, or Socialstyrelsen, announced late on Friday that it would no longer automatically apply the diagnosis “gender dysphoria” to transgender patients.
 
“…more than anything, this change has an important symbolic value,” Kristina Bränd Persson, the organisation’s head, said in a press release. “This is a completely reasonable change. Many divisions and categories are obsolete. For us, the decision is uncontroversial. We tend to follow the changes the WHO makes.” 
 
The decision was widely ridiculed on Twitter.  
 
“At fucking bloody last!” tweeted Leo Ringqvist. “We are not ill, most of all mentally.”  
 

“Wake me! Is it 2017 or 1817,” complained Ewa-Maria Åström. 
 

 
The move follows a decision made by the World Health Organisation in October to remove the transsexualism classification from the chapter on mental illness in its diagnostic guide.  
 
“This is welcome but no surprise,” said Frida Sandegård, chairperson of RFSL, which lobbies for the rights of gay, bisexual and transgender people.  
 
Transgender people have complained of receiving unwelcome questions and stigmatising treatment when dealing with health professionals in Sweden. 
 
The agency said the change would not take place immediately, as it would first have to incorporate the decision into its own national version of ICD-10, the latest disease classification manual issued by the WHO. 
 
The work is expected to be completed this year.