Doc refused to aid dying man: 'I don't know why'
Published: 7 Jun 12 08:24 CET
A doctor who told the wife of an 87-year-old man who had no pulse to "go home and call emergency services" has no explanation for why he refused to help, despite his clinic being a mere 50 metres from the home of the man, who subsequently died.
Back in April, the man's wife returned home to the apartment outside Stockholm she shared with her husband of 45 years and found her 87-year-old husband sitting on a chair.
"I said, 'Why are you sitting there?' but got no answer. I went over and felt for a pulse, but couldn't find one," the man's wife told the Aftonbladet newspaper.
"I panicked and acted on instinct and ran down to the local health clinic."
But when the woman arrived at the clinic and found a doctor, 59-year-old Hans Hartelius, he refused to help the woman.
"I ran up to him and told him my husband was dying and needed help. He simply said, 'That's too bad.'," the man's wife explained.
Instead of rushing to the aid of the dying man, Hartelius told the distraught wife to go home and dial the 112 emergency number.
But when paramedics arrived, they were unable to revive the man, determining the 87-year-old man had likely died from a heart attack or stroke.
While it remains unclear whether Hartelius could have saved the 87-year-old man, the way his wife was treated has left the woman's daughter, Sara Holmström Gallego, irate.
"Mum could have at least avoided going through the trauma by herself. She had to try to move him to the floor to resuscitate him," Holmström Gallego told the paper.
"Maybe the doctor could have saved a life, but instead he went home to celebrate Walpurgis."
The head of the clinic admitted that Hartelius acted inappropriately when he refused to help the 87-year-old and told Aftonbladet the incident will likely be reported to health authorities.
Hartelius remains on duty pending the outcome of the matter, which he called "regrettable".
"I was stressed and on my way home. But I don't know why I did what I did," he told the paper.
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