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Sweden's 'Doctor Anal' loses his medical licence

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Sweden's 'Doctor Anal' loses his medical licence
Not the doctor in the article (presumably the stethoscope would be held a bit further down). Photo: Bertil Ericson/SCANPIX
16:29 CET+01:00
A Swedish doctor who has previously hit the headlines for using a controversial 'anal massage' technique to cure various aches and pains has had his licence revoked.

The man, who has been active in Sweden, Norway and Denmark, has made a name for himself in Scandinavia over the past two decades for using a unique method of treatment.

He was first warned about his strategy in 2003 after treating an elderly woman's headache and back pain by massaging her anus.  Sweden's Medical Board of Responsibility (HSAN) called the treatment "dubious for a number of reasons", for example that none of the afflicted muscles could be reached using the method.

The doctor, on the other hand, said he had performed 600-1,000 similar treatments yielding "very good results" and insisted his claims were supported in medical journals. And despite repeated warnings he was allowed to continue to practise medicine after appealing to Stockholm County Court in 2008.

However, he has since again been warned by medical authorities in both Norway and Denmark and hit Swedish headlines anew on Thursday when HSAN sought to revoke his medical licence again.

The decision came after he also lost his licence in Denmark, where he was nicknamed 'Doctor Anal' in the press, in July after piercing a patient's lung when attempting to give them an anesthetic injection near the chest.

The doctor's lawyer, Björn Gärde, told the TT newswire he had appealed HSAN's decision to an administrative court in Sweden.

The man last worked as a doctor in Norrtälje last summer, but was forced to quit after he was recognized. However, it is far from the only time his unconventional claim to fame has landed him in trouble.

In April 2006, a council in Norway dismissed the doctor after only two weeks when they realized he was the same man who had hit the headlines a year earlier after being fired by another local authority.

He described his dismissal in Norway as part of a witch-hunt against him.

The Norwegian counterpart to HSAN issued a warning after the doctor told Swedish jokes to a group of Norwegians who were mourning a death.

The man said at the time that he considered himself misunderstood.

"I have a personality disorder, or rather a syndrome, a form of Aspergers. Just like Bill Gates or Einstein, for example," he told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet.

"I have made it impossible for myself within the healthcare sector because I behave childishly sometimes. I am different, but cleverer."

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