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Nurses in care home scandal escape charges

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Nurses in care home scandal escape charges
07:29 CEST+02:00
The preliminary investigation against two Norrköping nurses, under suspicion of maltreating patients at a care home in central Sweden, has been dropped despite allegations that one pressed vomit down a patient's throat.

"Different people have different views as to how the patients should be handled," said defence lawyer Claes Egnell to news agency TT.

The allegations against the two assistant nurses were serious and included one patient having had her vomit shoved back down her throat and other patients slapped and pinched. One woman, 100 years old, was subjected to her own fist being shoved in her mouth, reported outraged family members.

Both police and the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) opened up investigations shortly after the allegations became public in July last year.

However, after concluding the preliminary probe, prosecutors found that the assistant nurses' way to treat the patients was not justifiable but concluded that the “circumstances were such that the suspects did not have the ability to deal with the situation in an ethically correct and dignified way”.

In the decision, the prosecutor general wrote that both nurses had already lost their jobs and that the court would not be likely to give them more than a fine. One of the plaintiffs has since died and many of the other witnesses are also deemed not to be fit to take part in a trial.

Defense lawyer Egnell told TT that he was not surprised that the preliminary criminal investigation had been dropped. He doesn't think that his client ought to have lost her job, despite allegations that he pushed vomit back into a patient's mouth.

“It has never really been made really clear that this is what happened. I guess that is why charges won't be filed - because of course that would not have been acceptable,” Egnell said.

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