In early June 2020, Dr Staffan Bergström assisted a terminally ill ALS patient to die. Helping someone to commit suicide is not a crime in Sweden, but a doctor or nurse doing so risks losing his/her license to practice medicine. Bergström’s action led to a formal complaint to IVO, the Health and Social Care Inspectorate. IVO has decided to recommend that HSAN, a court-like authority within the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, recall Bergström’s license. It’s a slow process and will likely take at least several more months before there is a decision. If HSAN should recall Bergström’s license, he intends to challenge the action in higher courts. Bergström is chairperson of RTVD, the Swedish organization for the Right to Die in Dignity.
Below you find Staffan Bergström’s own account of what took place, as translated from Swedish to English, by Ellis Wohlner, a board member of RTVD, in April 2021.