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Szecsödy, I. Öhrberg, K. (1999). Thorsten Sjövall 1913-1998. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 22(1):143-144.

(1999). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 22(1):143-144

Thorsten Sjövall 1913-1998

Imre Szecsödy and Kjell Öhrberg

Medical director Thorsten Sjövall died on 7 December 1998. He is survived by his wife Astrid and three children from a previous marriage.

Thorsten Sjövall studied medicine at Uppsala University and received his medical degree in 1940. He specialized in psychiatry, primarily at Beckomberga Hospital (Beckomberga Sjukhus) but, critical of its minimal somatic care and the dearth of contact between hospital personnel and those under their care, he started training analysis.

In the middle of the forties he made the acquaintance of Elise Ottesen-Jensen. This blossomed into a life-long friendship and their collaboration on the board of the National Swedish Association for Sexual Information (RFSU). Thorsten Sjövall became their representative on the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). From a vantage point in leading positions on the boards of these organizations and during his almost non-stop journeys abroad, he persistently and often successfully propagated the organization's program: family planning must not be promoted by impersonal mass actions. Instead the word should be spread that every couple has the right to plan the number of children they would like to have and the times of their birth. No new contraceptives should be recommended for use in developing countries before they have been tested and accepted in the industrial world.

For a few years in the forties, Thorsten Sjövall was an inspector for what was then the Medical Board for the Child Guidance Clinic.

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