Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Abuse - Perpetrator as practicing doctor?

A year ago, Sweden’s most prestigious medical school found itself in an international uproar after it unknowingly admitted a student who was a Nazi sympathizer and a convicted murderer, then scrambled to find a way to expel him.

It is hard to imagine how the case could get any more bizarre. But it has.

The 33-year-old student, Karl Helge Hampus Svensson, having been banished from the medical school of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm on the ground that he falsified his high school records, has now been admitted to a second well-known medical school — Uppsala, Sweden’s oldest university.

New twists in his and another case highlight the difficulties that three of the country’s six medical schools have had in admitting and dismissing students with serious criminal offenses in just the past two years. The cases resonate far beyond Sweden, raising fundamental questions about who is fit to become a doctor.

The circumstances of Mr. Svensson’s admission to Uppsala’s first-year class — reported in January by Swedish news organizations — are unknown, because none of the officials involved will publicly discuss his case. He apparently uses an assumed name — a customary practice for Swedes seeking to remain anonymous because of a personal threat. Last week, Uppsala officials, responding to concerns about Mr. Svensson’s admission, said he had not participated in class work, but did not say why.

In another embarrassing twist, a Swedish newspaper reported last month that much of the verdict and court files regarding Bjorn Soderberg, Mr. Svensson’s murder victim, had been cut out or replaced with blank pages. The police said they had been unable to find a culprit.

And in still another case, a 24-year-old medical student at Lund University was convicted last April of raping a 14-year-old boy while he slept. A district court sentenced the student to two years in prison, but a higher court reduced the sentence to two years’ probation and medical therapy. [...]

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