Doctors speak out against asylum seeker age tests

4:50 min

Sweden's National Board of Forensic Medicine (Rättsmedicinalverket) says it will not stop using MRI scans of the knee joint to determine the age of asylum seekers, despite criticism from doctors inside the authority that the method is imprecise and unscientific.

Fredrik Tamsen, a specialist in forensic pathology told Radio Sweden that the MRI scans of knee joints should be stopped. 

"They have chosen a method that does not have a scientific basis, there are not enough studies. The results are too disparate."

Sweden introduced medical age assessments involving MRI scans of knee joints and X-rays of wisdom teeth in March 2017. The tests only apply in cases where an asylum applicant is missing reliable papers that can verify their exact age and doubts remain about the age that has been given.

The director general of the National Board of Forensic Medicine, Monica Rodrigo, told the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper that the use of scans on the knee joint had been developed after consultation with the National Board of  Health and Welfare (socialstyrelsen) and other authorities and would continue, while Justice minister Morgan Johansson has also given his backing to the methods.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
Du hittar dina sparade ljud i menyn under Min lista