Doc convicted of rape may lose licence

A Stockholm-area doctor who was sentenced to two years in prison for raping a patient during "touch therapy" sessions risks having his licence revoked.

According to Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) the doctor was “extremely incompetent in the exercise of his profession and in other ways has shown that he is clearly inappropriate to carry on in the profession.”

The victim first sought treatment for depression and burn out at a Stockholm-area psychiatric clinic in 2005 and started seeing the doctor in question early in 2006, according to court documents.

Shortly after treatment began, the doctor, who was 59 at the time, suggested that they continue their therapy sessions at the patient’s home because the clinic was fully booked.

During sessions held at the home of the then-25-year-old woman, the doctor led “deep discussions” about why she had a hard time getting close to men.

He suggested the woman engage in “touch therapy” as a way to help her get in touch with repressed memories of past sexual abuse, going so far as to propose having sex with her to help her reminiscence.

While the woman was disgusted by the thought of having sex with the doctor, she reluctantly agreed at first to go along with the treatment until the doctor tried to kiss her breast.

When she then said she had a boyfriend, the doctor became angry with her, prompting her to question the value of the therapy sessions.

In their last session, which took place in July 2006, the doctor asked the woman if she wanted him to write her a prescription for birth control pills and that he couldn’t have a friendly relationship without sex.

The young woman told the older doctor she wasn’t interested in having a relationship with him, at which point he grabbed her, pushed her up against the living room sofa the two had been using during therapy sessions and raped her.

Suspicions that the doctor had had sexual relations with the woman began to surface later in the summer of 2006, resulting in the case being reported to the health board.

Later in the autumn of 2006, the doctor came to the woman’s home and warned her that things could get “bloody ugly” for her if she went to the police, which she did in November 2006.

The doctor was found guilty by both the district court and the court of appeal. He was sentenced in May 2010 to two years in prison for rape, sexual assault and obstruction of justice.

The National Board of Health and Welfare argues that the man “abused his position as a doctor” and should have his licence revoked.

“He has undermined the faith which the public has the right to have in a licenced doctor,” the health board added.

Shortly before the start of the year, the health agency filed a petition with the Medical Responsibility Board (Hälso- och sjukvårdens ansvarsnämnd – HSAN), which is now considering the request.

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