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Case against nurse begins on Monday

SOS Alarm to judge capacity to empathise

Published söndag 13 november 2011 kl 16.26

After the death of 23-year-old Emil Linnell, the emergency operator SOS Alarm is investigating how to better judge capacity for empathy with its new hires, reports news agency TT.

The trial starts on Monday for the nurse who failed to send an ambulance to a dying 23-year-old on January 30, 2011. "It will of course be hard for me and my family to sit there and experience this all over again," the father of Emil, Stylianos Vassilakis, told news agency TT.

But Vassilakis says he wants to find out what exactly happened.

In July, the 52-year-old nurse was charged for manslaughter. The prosecutor says SOS Alarm had clear rules that the nurse failed to follow. "He didn't send the ambulance like he should have," says Prosecutor Gunnar Fjaestad.

The man's lawyer, Björn Hurtig, says SOS Alarm has made his client the scapegoat. "My client tried to save him," he says. "He wasn't successful with putting all the symptoms together, but that's not the same thing as manslaughter."

The nurse, who has quit the job, denies all wrongdoing.

SOS Alarm now says the company has "rigorous demands and routines" for new employees, but they will investigate one area further. "How good you are at this job has a lot to do with empathy," says Anders Klarström, SOS Alarm spokesperson. "We're looking into how we can in a better way judge someone's ability to empathize."

The National Board of Health and Welfare finished their investigation of the case on Friday. SOS Alarm was criticized for "serious failures".

The court case in Stockholm is expected to last for three days.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.

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