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Doc on trial for reading private patient data

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Doc on trial for reading private patient data
08:09 CEST+02:00
A doctor in southern Sweden has been prosecuted for data violation after reading medical details of patients whose parents he knew socially, with fears cited he could have been spying on their children's sex lives.

The 51-year-old doctor has admitted during the criminal investigation that he knows the parents of eleven out of the 20 patients whose information he read, even though they were not his patients.

The Expressen newpaper reports there are fears he was sharing information with the patients' families. His victims all have immigrant backgrounds. Most of them are in their twenties and all bar one is a woman. The journals can contain sensitive information, including details of the patients' sexual activities.

The doctor denies that he was sharing information from the patients' medical details and said he had simply gotten in the habit of checking journals in the regional healthcare system's data base.

The trial has been held behind closed doors to protect the privacy of the patients in question, the newspaper reported. Five women have testified against the doctor.

One woman had heard socially that details about her were known by the 51-year-old. She contacted the women's clinic, which in turn alerted authorities. The investigation revealed he had looked at journals 177 times.

Prosecutor Linda Rasmusson would not speculate in his motives but said it was clear the doctor had not needed to look at the journals for his work.

"This is about private reasons, which means he shouldn't be in the plaintiffs' journals," Rasmusson told the newspaper.

"It is clear he was checking up on something else."

The doctor himself has said he was given the right by two patients to look at their journals. His defence lawyer has said the doctor wanted a "clear diagnosis" and had gotten in the habit of checking journals.

TT/The Local/at

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