Couple Dubbed Racists in Son’s Health Records

The Local (Färögatan, Sweden), July 13, 2009

A woman has reported a hospital in western Sweden to national authorities after discovering she and her husband had been described as racists in their son’s medical records.

The woman filed a claim against Norra Älvsborg municipal hospital to Sweden’s Medical Responsibility Board (Hälso-och sjukvårdens ansvarsnämnd–HSAN), a national authority that assesses medical negligence, after discovering that she and her husband had been described as racists in their son’s medical charts, reported TTELA newspaper.

Three years ago, when the son was five months old, the woman rushed the boy to the hospital in an ambulance. At the hospital, they encountered a foreign doctor whom the woman was unable to understand. She asked to see a Swedish-speaking doctor, and her request was granted.

When she recently requested her son’s medical journal, she read that she and her husband had were described as racists in the notations.

Hospital management is also of the opinion that the notation was inappropriate.

The woman has also reported the doctor to the police for slander, and submitted a request to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) to have her son’s medical journal destroyed.

“We are not racists; we just didn’t understand what the doctor said,” the mother told TTELA, adding that the notation had absolutely nothing to do with her son’s medical condition.

She furthermore wondered if it had affected the family’s treatment during subsequent visits to the same hospital.

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