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Swedish doc accuses police of misconduct

The Local/js · 5 Jan 2012, 17:31

Published: 05 Jan 2012 17:31 GMT+01:00

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The officers allegedly failed to tell the paediatrician of the nature of the accusations against her and acted in a threatening manner at the time of her arrest.

"One of them snapped at me saying that I should not act as though I didn't know what it was about, after having done what I did," she told the the Läkartidningen medical journal .

The three-month-old baby was born prematurely, unconscious and with serious brain damage, and died in September of 2008 shortly after her birth.

The paediatrician was then charged with manslaughter, suspected of deliberately having administered a high dose of the anaesthetic Pentothal in combination with morphine, in order to speed up the baby's death.

A lengthy and complicated investigation started, and on October 21st 2011 the doctor was unanimously acquitted by the Solna District Court.

The doctor's complaints have now been taken up by prosecutors.

Chief Prosecutor Håkan Roswall at the National Prosecution Authority (Åklagarmyndigheten) said to the journal that they are currently investigating the police on six specific points.

In addition to failing to inform her of the accusations and acting in a threatening matter, the doctor complained that police confiscated some of her belongings but never gave her an official list of the things they had appropriated.

Story continues below…

She is also very critical of the way police and pathologists in the case have speculated publicly about medical treatments, how medical journals are kept and how specific drugs are administered, outside of their fields of expertise, which became evident from a tape which was released some time into the investigation, according to the journal.

If the police officers are found to be guilty of misconduct, they could face hefty fines or up to two years in prison.

Prosecutors say the volume of evidence - the case file runs to over a thousand pages - means it may take months to establish what charges, if any, can be made against the officers.

The Local/js (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:14 January 5, 2012 by Observant
This strengthens my argument that to be a police officer you SHOULD be at LEAST 35 years old. Have done military service and in which case you would have maturity and common-sense on your side. I have NEVER met a young police office who has any maturity or common-sense let alone initiative!
20:03 January 5, 2012 by Puffin
The Local seems to have missed the biggest elements of the aquitted doctors allegations - that the police investigating the case were totally ignorant of medical procedures - apparently the detective leading the investigation thought that saline solution was poison
20:06 January 5, 2012 by RobinHood
In Sweden, a mistake or even the slightest appearance of a mistake, is treated as a criminal matter. Accidents and tragedies attract ambitious young prosecutors out to make a name for themselves, in the same manner as the basest of ambulance chasing lawyers. They compound and prolong the pain for everbody involved for no public good. People doing their best for society, like this dedicated paediatrician, are forced to defend themselves against accusations made by people unfit to clean their shoes.

It's not as if there aren't enough real crimes, commited by real criminals to keep them busy. But clearly this "bread and butter work" is way too boring for an ambitious prosecutor. It's much more fun making pointless prosecutions against doctors, nurses, hunters, or anyone else who finds themselves doing their best in a tragic situation, or occasionaly making a tragic mistake.

This needs fixing!
20:16 January 5, 2012 by Puffin

I agree with you here - I was always puzzled about why the prosecutor thought that a prosecution was in the public interest

- the baby had been declared brain dead and had been removed from the respirator

- the doctor was always caring for a baby who was minutes/hours from death so did it even matter if the baby had died 30 minutes earlier?

The really astounding and shocking part of this case - not mentioned by The Local and often forgotten in the discussion of this case - was that the baby was killed by medical negligence at another hospital where a nurse gave an accidental overdose of medication casuing brain damage/death

So what happens to the healthcare staff involved with the baby?

- the doctor who cares for the baby after she has been taken off the respirator to die is prosecuted and loses 3 years of her life

- the nurse who administered the overdose that cased the brain damage that eventually led to the baby's death - gets a simple warning on her file!
21:50 January 5, 2012 by Boringday
Ridiculous to say "you should be at least 25 years old" to be a police officer, as many if not all middle aged people still act like children, usually more so because they have so many regrets and failures that they overcompensate with by acting vindictive, and generally hateful towards others.

The requirement for being a cop should be 15 years of university, it should be harder to become a cop than a doctor. Isn't this common sense? When cops are trusted with having to make life or death decisions why not at least 8 years similar to a Doctor?

I hope I see change within my lifetime.
23:29 January 5, 2012 by Octover
Not sure on the whole story, but I hope the prosecutor who tried to make a name for themselves is getting theirs as well. The whole prosecution was ridiculous, but it was even worse that they made a media circus of her arrest done while she was on duty. It was months later and there was no reason to believe anyone else was in immediate danger. It seems reckless to arrest a doctor on duty without a compelling reason to do so.
23:42 January 5, 2012 by Puffin
The police action was very strange as well - I mean given the circumstances of the case did they actually need to storm the hospital while she was seeing patients and arrest her in public in the middle of a ward round

The whole thing appeared overkill from the start
00:00 January 6, 2012 by Mai Bad
uh..oh...The mean policeman "snapped" at the girlie doctor and might get 2 years in jail and the 29 year old who stabbed the 18 year old to death gets only 12 years in jail....Something wrong with Swedish "justice"?
01:13 January 6, 2012 by skumdum
The cops did a fine job. No need to be polite when dealing with a baby killer.
01:47 January 6, 2012 by shard

most appropriate nickname I've seen for a long while. Well done, boy.
06:08 January 6, 2012 by RobinHood

I'm sure the doctor won't ask the Local for your IP address so she can sue you for libel. Or pass on your identity to the police - libel is a crime in Sweden.

Sleep well.
09:58 January 6, 2012 by Da Goat
I think skumdum must be a police !

The police the world over are experts at going off half cocked, it is amazing that any criminals are actually caught due to their incompetents.

the police do have a certain intelligence not sure university or the like would help them at all,......you can always tell a policeperson but not much!
12:01 January 6, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
Maybe some relatively senior police officer got a 'bee in his bonnet' about the medical profession, thought there could be some kind of malpractice going on, and decided to go on a 'fishing trip' to gather some kind of evidence by playing the 'heavy' with the doctor.

...or the police were misguided on this occasion...?

And yes - before anyone starts making allegations, 'innocent until proven guilty' is a useful motto
13:27 January 6, 2012 by DAVID T
The desire to be a cop should ban you for life from ever becoming one
22:24 January 6, 2012 by rohermoker
You can compllain about experience or education of the police involved, the first thing studied should be the pay that police officers get, In my experience you get just what you pay for. Question the motivation oof either party's comments
15:47 January 7, 2012 by nar klockan klamtar
Such a waste of police resources where a little intelligence applied could have put this business in its proper place.
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