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Carers can help alcoholic buy booze: agency

Swedish home-help service workers have recently been instructed to assist a disabled man who suffers from alcohol addiction to purchase drink.

Carers can help alcoholic buy booze: agency

At a recent meeting by the ethical council of the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) it was decided that the reluctance of care workers to help a disabled alcoholic to buy drink is an infringement on his rights.

The middle-aged man in question suffers from stiff legs and a balance impairment, making it difficult for him to do his own shopping and perform chores around the flat.

He therefore receives home help service from the local authorities, who clean his flat, purchase his food and cigarettes, and spend some time with him every day.

However, the man also wants his care workers to purchase his alcohol, something some of them have so far felt reluctant to do, taking the matter to the ethical council for guidance.

Currently, the man makes his way to the alcohol shop himself when his abstinence becomes unbearable, but often falls over and injures himself on the way.

According to the council, staff says the man becomes difficult to handle when he doesn’t have access to drink, acting aggressively toward staff and letting his flat go to ruin.

When under the influence, however, he is calm and pleasant and in rather good spirits.

After deliberations, the council decided that it is not up to the local authorities to decide how the man chooses to live his life, and therefore they have no right to regulate his alcohol consumption.

Instead, their duty is to assist him in his day-to-day life – including the purchase of alcohol.

However, they also said that staff should keep a dialogue with the man of his life choices and the extent of his alcohol consumption.

They can then also bring to his attention the dilemma they face when asked to buy alcohol for someone already intoxicated.

Siren/The Local

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OFFBEAT

Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim

Police on the island of Gotland removed a public sculpture from the Galgberget nature reserve near Visby on the grounds that it is just too creepy.

Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim
The gallows at Galgeberget. Photo: Artifex/WikiCommons
According to local news site Hela Gotland, someone was out for a stroll on Galgeberget (the Gallows Hill) on Wednesday when they saw what they thought was a body hanging after a suicide. Local police were contacted but when they went to investigate they instead found a sculpture by artist Jessica Lundeberg. 
 
The artwork, entitled ‘The Watcher in the Woods’, is a partially transparent plate sculpture that looks like a spooky little girl. 
 
 
Despite discovering that the suspected suicide victim was actually artwork, police determined that Lundeberg’s piece could scare others and thus took the sculpture down. 
 
“It was decided that if it were to remain, more people would likely be frightened in the same way,” Gotland police spokesman Ayman Aboulaich told Radio P4 Gotland. 
 
Lundeberg told Hela Gotland that the sculpture has been at Galgeberget since a public art project last summer and that this was the first time it had caused any concern. She said ‘The Watcher in the Woods’ was the only piece that was allowed to remain after the end of the project. But now it is there no more. 
 
 
Lundeberg has taken the sculpture back to her studio. While she hopes it will eventually return to Galgeberget, the artist told Hela Gotland it seems unlikely.  
 
She said that the sculpture was damaged by police. 
 
“It was ragged, dismantled and broken. I was horrified when I saw it,” she said. 
 
Police have reportedly promised to pay any necessary repair costs.
 
Although the person who reported the sculpture to the police has not spoken with the media, their jump to conclusions could perhaps be attributed to the nature reserve’s macabre history. Galgeberget is still home to gallows that were used to hang criminals for centuries. The last execution to be held at the site was in 1845, according to Hela Gotland
 
 
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