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04 March 2024

Finnish court fines 'vampire' doctor

A midwife examines a pregnant woman at a maternity ward. A Finnish doctor has been fined for subjecting a 20-year-old woman to a "sexual act". (AFP)


A Finnish doctor who said he sucked a patient's nipple in line with an old midwives' diagnostic trick has been fined for subjecting the 20-year-old woman to a "sexual act", a court said Wednesday.

Two lower courts earlier ruled that the doctor, who insisted he had obtained the patient's permission, had not committed a crime.

But overturning those rulings, the Finnish Supreme Court said in a statement that the hospital doctor had been sentenced to "a fine and compensation for sexually taking advantage of a patient and violation of his professional duty."

The doctor said that he merely used the technique to diagnose a medical problem in accordance with the long-established midwives' practice during a 2007 appointment for an ultrasound breast exam.

The court added that it considered "it proven that it was indeed a sexual act."

The doctor was ordered to pay a fine of approximately 80 days' salary. He must also pay the woman 1,200 euros (1,600 dollars) in compensation, less than half the 3,000 euros she had requested.

The court said it had decided not to impose a higher penalty because "it was an isolated act perpetrated against an adult plaintiff."