'She passed away after the last injection'

TT/The Local/pvs
TT/The Local/pvs - [email protected]
'She passed away after the last injection'

The trial against a Swedish doctor accused of infant euthanasia entered its second day on Thursday with the mother of the baby describing the care received as "beneath contempt".


The trial's second day opened with the questioning of the mother to the infant, which the doctor, who stands accused of manslaughter, allegedly poisoned.

The young woman spoke calmly, sat leaning forward dressed in a green T-shirt and with her hair tied back in a pony tail. She told the court of the girl's few months alive, of erroneous treatment and complications.

The doctor, who kept busy making copious notes, had once again decided to cover her face with a large shawl.

In regards to the care received by her baby daughter towards the end of her life, the mother replied:

"Beneath contempt."

She however described the doctor, a 57-year-old woman whose name has not been disclosed, as "pleasant".

At one meeting the parents were told by another doctor that their child was a "miscarriage survivor". During the same meeting the parents received the results of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.

"She was brain dead. She would not have had a worthwhile life had she continued to live," the mother told the court.

The prosecutor's interrogation was then subsequently focused on how the child was given medicine, and who gave it to her, during the last hours of her life.

The mother expressed certainty that it was only the 57-year-old doctor who had administered medicine after the respirator was turned off.

At one point she felt that the child was suffering and asking for more sedatives, was told that it wasn't possible, as a certain morphine limit had to be maintained.

"We are all standing around her. She then passed away when she is given the last injection," the mother said, in tears as she told the story.

When the doctor administered the injection she listened to the baby with a stethoscope. After a while it was concluded that the girl had passed away, the mother continued.

At that point she had no inkling that the doctor had done anything wrong. The police report came as a result of the parents wanting to know how the child died.

The 57-year-old doctor is scheduled to be interrogated later on Thursday. The woman denies the charges.

The case, which has received significant media coverage since the baby's death in 2009, is exceptional because legal procedures against doctors are very rare in Sweden, where malpractice cases usually go before the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) with no criminal ramifications.

The case has raised concerns in medical circles, leaving doctors uncertain and wary of performing certain operations for fear of legal consequences.

The doctor stands charged with manslaughter or alternatively attempted manslaughter for allegedly administering excessive doses of thiopental, an anaesthetic, to a very sick three-month-old baby that was born prematurely and was expected to die shortly of brain damage.


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