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Cop suspected of 'torturing' accused doc

The Local/mh · 25 Jan 2012, 14:44

Published: 25 Jan 2012 14:44 GMT+01:00

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According to the anesthesiologist from Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital, who was acquitted of manslaughter charges in October 2011, police subjected her to "torture-like" methods, including sleep deprivation, in conjunction with her arrest in March 2009, the medical trade publication Läkartidningen reported.

“It was pure torture,” she told the paper in an interview published in December.

Now an officer responsible for not allowing the doctor to sleep while she was in custody is under investigation for professional misconduct.

"The police officer is currently suspected of professional misconduct, not assault. But that could change during the course of the investigation," prosecutor Håkan Roswall told the Metro newspaper.

The doctor said that, following her arrest, she wasn't given any chance to contact friends, family or colleagues directly and when she asked how long she might be held she was told "until you explain what you did".

According to the doctor, however, the police could not understand the medical terminology and thus couldn't understand her answers to their questions.

While the anestheseologist was being held, she was frequently woken by guards.

One opened the door regularly all night long. They also left the light on 24 hours a day.

Another guard insisted she get out of bed and stand up every thirty minutes, so he could be sure she was still alive.

When she finally objected, the police officer on duty responded with force.

“He threw me against the wall and said that if I didn't understand, maybe I would understand this,” she told the paper.

According to Roswall, guards are obligated to keep an eye on suspects held in remand "but not in this way".

In total, Roswall is investigating six possible crimes committed by two police officers in connection with their actions following the doctor's arrest, according to Metro.

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.

Story continues below…

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".

In acquitting the doctor in October, 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.

The Local/mh (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

19:34 January 25, 2012 by tgolan
I thought that torture was forbidden in Sweden but the Swedish justice system is worse than Guantanamo. In Sweden there is no bail, the police can keep one in jail without reason under a long time in total isolation and circumstances that any civilized country regards as torture. trials are not fair either as the jury s are appointed by the political parties including communists and extreme rightest
20:38 January 25, 2012 by Migga
Tourture is forbidden in Sweden. The Swedish justice system isn`t worse then Guantanamo. In Sweden there is no bail because one shouldn`t be able to buy oneself free. The police can`t keep you in jail without reason. There are no communists or extreme rightest in the swedish political parties.
22:40 January 25, 2012 by Puffin

I'm not sure what you mean by there being no bail? Many people are released while awaiting to start trial - you just cannot buy your way out
01:47 January 26, 2012 by entry
Migga #2 says: "There are no communists or extreme rightest in the swedish political parties"

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet",

What you posted stinks.

What do you call the Vansterpartiet? http://bit.ly/xUVHKV

SD is the only political party in Sweden where Che T-shirts and Red hammer and sickle flags will not be found at political rallies. They have their wackos just like every other party(this reply is not an endorsement of SD).

The political parties in Sweden can barely be separated by a cigarette paper. The ruling Moderate Party in Sweden would be considered left of center democrats in the USA. Christ!!! it is hard to see the difference between the Torys and Labor in the UK these days. In the states the RINOs & Leftists rule. Our tax dollars fuel a privileged class of highly paid career bureaucrats that suck our marrow.

Get Real!
02:53 January 26, 2012 by GLO
The Doc killed the infant, but the Police, act with criminal intent. They have no business in this public area of trust.......
08:59 January 26, 2012 by karex
I think that they should be investigating the hospital instead. There are too many cases of children being mentally challenged as a result of lack of oxygen to the brain during birth here in Sweden. Difficult births which would automatically be classified as a need for a cesarean section in other countries is not done here. The reason? Kostar pegnar. That's right, they brain damage their kids to save money. Why has no one asked why the child had to be born brain damaged in the first place?
09:05 January 26, 2012 by Snood
@ Migga & Puffin

Why, when talking about bail do you assume this means PAYING for it. Sure, in the US, that's the corrupt and unfair way things work, but in the civilised world, if the defendant is not a threat to society and the police are satisfied they will turn up to court then bail is granted, no fee, it's just the civilised, and indeed cheaper way of doing things.


Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty, which by the way she was proved innocent (even if that's just not being proved guilty). This article and indeed most of the media coverage of this case doesn't cover all the facts due to the complexity of the case and that the general public aren't doctors. for a start, the infant was given a too high dose of another drug by a nurse by accident, this is rarely mentioned in reports. I'm no expert but my girlfriend is a doctor and has attempted to explain the case to me. it's just not as clear as the media make out.

the whole investigation was handled appallingly. Police have no place in investigating such a complex medical issue. sure the investigation can be led by police, but there needs to be a professional medical board investigating (they did independently and also found her not guilty and allowed her to keep her licence). by being falsely accused and treated the way she has by the media, the doctor has received death threats, has had to move house to a different town and has been living in a shell.. this isn't the way someone who is innocent should be treated.
09:26 January 26, 2012 by engagebrain

you argue that Sweden performs too few ceasarians, but there is a serious debate about how many are appropriate and on the problems/risks to the mother by major surgery.

I really doube that cost is the issue in Sweden, obviously in the US where every proceedure is income there is a major incentive to do a bill for more.
10:07 January 26, 2012 by Already in use
In support of Snood, look up the facts. The girl was born 15 weeks premature, that's almost 4 months! She had very limited chances of survival to begin with. I doubt that the public is able to understand all the difficulties that doctors are facing, I also find it totally plausible that the police didn't understand it, and I also suspect that the grieving parents weren't very rational in their claims.
12:48 January 26, 2012 by karex

I speak from knowing people who nearly died along with their babies because even after it was obvious that surgery was needed it was refused on the grounds of "childbirth should be natural".

It was so several hundred years ago and the mother and child mortality rate was much higher as well. We have the technology these days to save more lives. It's a crime when it is not used. Especially when huge amounts of taxes are paid to be able to have the solutions available in the first place. I'm speaking of at least one case when the first birth was problematic and the patieints files already contained the history of difficulties giving birth and recommendation for surgery next time, and it was still refused.

Of course I'm not advocating a c-section as if it were an elective surgery such as breast augmentation.
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