Hospital demands probe of Anna Lindh’s care

Karolinska University Hospital has requested an inquiry into the care it gave former foreign minister Anna Lindh after her fatal stabbing in September 2003.

Hospital demands probe of Anna Lindh's care

The hospital wants Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) to review the treatment Lindh received at the hospital after she was stabbed in a Stockholm department store.

Lindh died on the operating table at Karolinska’s facilities in Solna, north of Stockolm.

The hospital has reviewed charts detailing Lindh’s treatment and doesn’t believe that any mistakes were made, but nevertheless has requested that the health board conduct an independent investigation.

The reason behind the request is a forthcoming television broadcast produced by Sweden’s TV4 which, according to Karolinska, asserts that Lindh didn’t receive proper care at the hospital.

“Because the episode has such great national and historic significance, it’s important to prevent the spread of rumours surrounding this matter. We believe it’s appropriate that the National Board of Health and Welfare carry out an investigation into the care of Anna Lindh,” wrote Karolinska University Hospital in its petition, which arrived on Wednesday at the agency’s regional oversight division in Stockholm.

Lindh was attacked and stabbed while shopping in the upscale NK department store in central Stockholm around 4pm local time on September 10th, 2003.

She remained conscious following the attack, with initial reports indicating she had been cut in the arm and that she wasn’t seriously injured.

She was taken to Karolinska, where she was placed on an operating table so doctors could attend to her wounds.

Lindh died at 5.29am the following morning following massive blood loss caused by internal bleeding.

The knife had sliced through a number of important blood vessels in her mid-section, including the portal vein and the aorta. Lindh’s liver had also been damaged.

Two weeks later, on September 24th, 24-year-old Mijailo Mijailovic was arrested for the stabbing. The Supreme Court sentenced him to life in prison for Lindh’s murder on December 2nd, 2004.

Among the evidence cited during the trial were images from surveillance cameras in NK, as well as his DNA.

Karolinska Chief Medical Officer Stefan Engqvist said that the information, which the hospital attributes to the TV4 investigative news programme Kalla Fakta, is hard to address publicly, in part because he doesn’t really know what the criticism is based on and in part because the hospital doesn’t release information from Lindh’s file.

“Our position becomes a bit awkward in this situation. We have tough regulations about confidentiality and laws on secrecy that we can’t break,” he told the TT news agency.

He said that Sweden’s emergency trauma care has evolved since 2003, but that according to procedures commonly used at the time, the hospital reacted in the best possible way in the operating room and that everyone involved did everything they could to save the foreign minister’s life.

“We’ve gone through all the documentation ourselves and haven’t found anything wrong and nothing that would warrant a report according to Lex Maria,” said Engqvist, referencing Sweden’s Lex Maria laws, the informal name used to refer to regulations governing the reporting of injuries or incidents in the Swedish health care system.

“But we would also gladly have an independent investigation and for that we turn to the National Board of health and Welfare. We want to avoid the spreading of rumours.”

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Former Danish social worker convicted of massive fraud

A former employee of Denmark's social services was sentenced to six and half years in prison on Tuesday for embezzling millions in funds, meant for people in need, over decades.

Former Danish social worker convicted of massive fraud
Britta Nielsen's defence lawyer Nima Nabipour speaks to media. Photo:Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

Britta Nielsen, 65, was accused of diverting 117 million Danish kroner (15.7 million euros) between 1993 and 2018 from the social services to her personal bank accounts by creating fictitious projects.

In its verdict, the Copenhagen court found Nielsen guilty of “fraud of a particular grave nature… abusing a public position and forgery of a particular grave nature”.

The six year and six month prison sentence is one of the longest handed down for economic crimes in the country, according to Danish media.

Prosecutors had requested at least eight years in prison, claiming she had abused her position as a public servant.

“She has betrayed the trust she was given when she became employed by the National Board of Social Services,” prosecutor Lisbeth Jørgensen told the court during the trial.

Nielsen, who was employed by the social services agency for 40 years, admitted to the fraud but not the amount of money suggested by the prosecution.

During the trial, she explained that she had been drawn into a “vicious circle” and claimed she had acted to improve to the lives of her three children, who have also been charged with handling of stolen goods.

Her lawyer, Nima Nabipour, has asked for a sentence of four to six years, arguing that crimes committed before 2009 have reached their statute of limitations.

The court however found her liable for the embezzling of the full 117 million.

Nabipour has also pleaded mitigating circumstances, like Nielsen's age and health.

The trial has had to be adjourned several times due to Nielsen collapsing in court and being too ill to stand trial.

However, a medical examination found her to be in good health.

Nielsen was arrested in late 2018 in South Africa, where she had fled, and later extradited to Denmark.

In addition to her jail sentence over 113 million kroner of Nielsen's assets were confiscated.