Swedish doctor accused of killing newborn

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Feb. 1 (UPI) – A Swedish pediatrician accused of the alleged mercy killing of a 3-month-old brain-damaged baby has been charged with manslaughter, court documents show.

The doctor at Astrid Lindgren’s Children’s Hospital in Stockholm is accused of administering morphine along with a high dose of Pentothal in September 2008, allegedly to speed up the death of the infant who was born 15 weeks premature, the Swedish new agency TT reported Monday.

The baby suffered a difficult birth, with a lack of oxygen resulting in her being born unconscious, complicated by an overdose of saline solution allegedly administered by a nurse. An ultrasound revealed cerebral hemorrhaging on both sides of her brain.

The doctor who allegedly administered the Pentothal and morphine was arrested March 2009 but subsequently released from custody, although suspended from the hospital throughout the investigation, TT said.

A report published in October 2009 by Sweden’s National Board of Health cleared the doctor of any wrongdoing in connection with the baby’s death but prosecutor Peter Claeson has said he expects to gain a manslaughter conviction in court.

The evidence is strong.