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Child psychiatrist Erja Tuompo-Johansson admonished for irregularities in an investigation of child sexual abuse

Posted by jremy on January 6, 2012 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (62)

Child psychiatrist Erja Tuompo-Johansson works as a senior physician in the family and youth counselling services of the city of Vantaa. She has also her private practise. Tuompo-Johansson is one of the organizers of child group therapist training, a four-year programme which is to be launched in this year 2012.   

Tuompo-Johansson’s career has not been harmed by the admonition she received in July 2004 for her conduct in an investigation of suspected sexual abuse of a child aged 2. Provincial government of South Finland admonished her for that the patient records which she had written contained very many mistakes and the writing of records had been delayed. As a result of the mistakes in records, the information the child’s parents gave concerning the symptoms of the child was distorted. The investigation began on the initiative of the parents who, on the basis of the symptoms, suspected that their child had been sexually abused. The distortions in the records written by Tuompo-Johansson gave an impression that the parents’ concern was groundless and irrational.

The provincial government based its decision on thecomparison between the original records and the ones which were afterwards corrected on the parents’ request:  ”...the uncorrected patient records give an absolutely different perception of theinterviews, compared to the records which were later corrected. If an outsider should read the original records, he or she would get a distorted impression of the situation and the parents’ testimony. Together and as a whole, the mistakes leave an impression that the parents’ claims are strange, or even irrational. The provincial government considers that such a great number of mistakes cannot result only from the ambiguity [of the information received]. It is an especially aggravating fact that the number of suspects has been falsely inflated in the original patient records.”    

Indeed, the records contained 32 mistakes which undermined the parents’ case, while there were none with the opposite effect. In the records, it was claimed that the parents suspected many persons whom they indeed did not suspect. This increased the impression of delusional and weakly founded suspicion.

In its decision on the case, Helsinki police ignored theparents’ complaint against Tuompo-Johansson. The police argued for their decision on the ground that Tuompo-Johansson worked in the clinic where the investigations of child sexual abuse were regularly conducted. The case of suspected child abuse was closed. In 2005, Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs called the police’s attention to that the case should have been transmitted to the consideration of public prosecutor. This had not been done.

After the provincial government’s decision, the parents wrote to the Centre of Patients’ Rights, another Finnish government body. They asked, whether Tuompo-Johansson’s licence as a physician should be repealed, or should she be denied the right to conduct investigations of child sexual abuse.In November 2005, the Centre of Patients’ Rights responded, informing theparents that it did not perceive a well-argued reason to restrict Tuompo-Johansson’s rights as a physician. However, the Centre informed theparents that it had, in October 2000, called Tuompo-Johansson to pay attention to the irregularities which had been revealed in another investigation conducted by her.  According to the Centre, those irregularities had been different from those for which the provincial government had admonished her in July 2004.

Today, Tuompo-Johansson works in a senior position in family and youth counselling. This places children in potential danger. Finnish authorities have preferred to protect her instead of children. I published these facts in Finnish in order to warn Tuompo-Johansson’s potential patientsand their parents. I publish this English version, since I am convinced that only publicity may change the attitude of Finnish authorities.  

I will be grateful for any additional information concerningTuompo-Johansson and the violations of children’s rights in Finland in general.I can be contacted at [email protected] I will not publish anything without the consent of victims and/or their parents. I will also not publish any information through which the victims can be identified.