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Doc acquitted of having caused baby's death

TT/AFP/The Local · 21 Oct 2011, 11:13

Published: 21 Oct 2011 11:13 GMT+02:00

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“The District Court hasn't found that it's been sufficiently proven that a crime has been committed. Nor has the court found that it's been proven that the doctor did anything that wasn't medically motivated,” the court wrote in a statement.

The case stems from the death of a 3-month-old infant girl at the hospital in September 2008. The girl was terminally ill and had serious brain damage after having been born 15 weeks premature. The birth was complicated and the baby was born unconscious due to a lack of oxygen.

In consultations with the parents, the girl was taken off life support on September 20th, 2008.

A month later, the girl's parents filed a complaint with police alleging the newborn hadn't received proper treatment after an autopsy revealed the infant had received abnormally high doses of the anesthetic thiopental.

During the trial, the parents said that the care their baby had received prior to her death was "beneath contempt".

The case, which has received significant media coverage since the baby's death, 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.

However, despite the agency ruling against malpractice, prosecutor Peter Claeson charged the doctor with manslaughter in February 2010, on suspicion of having deliberately having administered a high dose of the thiopental in combination with morphine, in order to speed up the baby's death.

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

The doctor, who faced six to 10 years in prison if convicted, had pleaded not guilty and denied having administered thiopental.

The court said it could not be determined exactly how high a dose the baby had received, nor how the baby received the anaesthetic, and therefore the doctor could not be found guilty.

Friday's not-guilty verdict therfore comes as a relief to the hospital, when the 100 pages long ruling finally freed the doctor from all charges.

"We can't really say anything yet, before reading everything the court wrote. But of course everyone here at the hospital are very relived over the not-guilty verdict," said Klas Östman, head of informations at the Karolinska University hospital, which the Astrid Lindgren Children's hospital is affiliated, to news agency TT.

Prosecutor Peter Claeson was surprised at the verdict from the district court.

Story continues below…

"When suspicions arise of a serious offence, it is my duty to investigate and that is what I have done. I expected a conviction. I did that up until 11 o'clock this morning, " he said to TT.

Marta Christensen, the deputy head of Stockholm's Association of Medical Practitioners, said recently the case had left many doctors rattled.

"To question yourself is part of the job but now maybe they think things over a bit more and that means longer decision-making processes that in the end can unnecessarily delay medical care. A sense of insecurity has plagued the entire medical corps," Christensen told Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:23 October 21, 2011 by Scansson
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:33 October 21, 2011 by tadchem
"...it could not be determined exactly how high a dose the baby had received, nor how the baby received the anaesthetic, and therefore the doctor could not be found guilty."

Everything else is 'window dressing.'
17:31 October 21, 2011 by this_aint_sparta
@ Scansson, May be they can save your 15 month pre mature brain damaged girl for being a peace loving law abiding citizen.
17:59 October 21, 2011 by Scansson
Sparta, yeah, only in a perfect civilized western world, but that's all a fantasy here in Sverige.
18:33 October 21, 2011 by Kaethar
Yeah, he might be guilty or might not be - but if they can't prove things either way he has to walk free. It's the same with any criminal proceeding. It's better to let a guilty man walk than to lock up an innocent man.
00:16 October 22, 2011 by CaliforniaDreaming
Scansson...you're an idiot!!!!

Based on your comment and your flagrant lack of life experiences, you might want to consider attending a school that might ( and I do say might) provide you with a higher wherewithall (that is if you have the aptitude and grades to get into a university) so you don't make stupid comments such as your most recent statement. But then again......everyone needs a random telemarketer calling me on a Saturday morning to sell me socks, or a pizza maker to make my pizzas on a Thursday evening, or even a maintenance worker to pick up my trash twice a week.

You write like you speak!!! Which says A LOT about you ...let alone your comment. Let's see...why don't we lay off the video games for a while, stop texting while driving, stop talking loud on your phone while in the fast food line (there is NOTHING that important that everyone needs to hear you say) and try see where your going with your music in your ears.
00:39 October 22, 2011 by Scansson
@ CalifornicatingWetdream

Based on your avatar namesake, your just another dipsh*t American who has no clue as to what living in Sweden is about. So, Please, stay in California with the rest of the weirdos, and take a few more hits from your medicinal pot, jag-off.

As the great Chef Ramsey would say to someone of your stature...

F___ OFF : )
05:45 October 22, 2011 by CaliforniaDreaming
Scansson.......again ...you write like you speak!!!!!! Can you please try and write in complete sentences or attempt to write a sentence with a three syllable word. Come on!!! Just try!!!! I know I'm reaching here!!! Try!! Please!!! TRY!!!! Your last statement just proves my point over AND OVER AGAIN!!!!!!! Avatar?? Chef Ramsey?? Ever pick up a book other than to replace the cinder blocks underneath you bed???

So you quote Chef Ramsey?? Really??? Chef Ramsey? You think reality TV is reality? Is that the best you can come up with? Really??

As for California....maybe you should have enough wherewithall to realize that California is not just Hollywood or what you watch on reality TV........but you must already know that in your infinite wisdom in watching food shows.

Its not too late to take that book out from underneath your bed...... Oh wait!!!! or is it!!!!!
20:35 October 22, 2011 by Scansson
Californicating Dreamer...

"wherewithall... wherewithall... wherewithall... ???

What douchebag uses this phrase?.... ooops, forgot, YOU : )

But, I degress...

"random telemarketer, pizza maker, maintenance worker, texting while driving, talking loud on your phone, music in your ears, fast food line, write in complete sentences or attempt to write a sentence with a three syllable word, cinder blocks underneath you bed... and you write like you speak"?

It would seem that you are self projecting, a typical sign of a Manic Depressive who needs to get back on their meds, perhaps prozac is your flavor?

I had read about this somewhere on the internet a few years back, I hope you find the help soon, usually they commit suicide in extreme cases, and it be such a shame for the readers of the local, as I'm quite sure you would be missed : )

My Oh My, it looks as if you are trying to say something profound, but in reality as you like to point out, and By-the-way, it would seem that your trying to impress yourself with a new word you finally found ?...

If you're not, then perhaps there is a 'Plexi-Otomy' specialist you can see that can assist you in surgically implanting a small piece of Plexiglass in your stomach region, as this will allow you to see where you are going. It would seem that removing your head from your ass is simply not possible,,, Sorry, but it doesn't look good.

The good news, however, they do take Kaiser & Cigna Healthcare and you may be abel to apply for government assistance, albeit the later will suffice in your case.

As far as living in So. California for 40 years, you'd be the last person to ask about the reality of it.

Have a Nice Day : )
00:37 October 23, 2011 by CaliforniaDreaming

Blah, Blah, Blah!!!!

It must have taken you ALL day to think of such an insightful response. WOW!!! and only 7 misspellings and/or grammatical errors. I'm impressed.

I'll be sure to answer your call the next time I need socks.
02:24 October 23, 2011 by Scansson

It seems your my new toy on the local.

"misspellings and/or grammatical errors"

I trust you'll nursemaid Me through these difficult times? : )
18:06 October 23, 2011 by rinocent
The rumours I have heard from hospital workers are, and I wanna note that I emphase that it is rumours, not witnesses.

The father "have" told the police that he have not seen the doctor give any medicine to the daughter.

The family could not bare to see their daughter during the last minutes so the rumours are they gave the medicine themselves.

And according to personell this specific medicine are NOT locked in and syringes can be found easily at location.

The family mentioned are gypses and they have their own medicine practices in their culture.

So the proof is not enought as I can see it that the doctor was guilty.
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