Marcello Ferrada de Noli

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Marcello Vittorio Ferrada de Noli, is a Swedish-Chilean professor with degrees in Philosophy (University of Chile) and in Psychiatry (Licentiate in Medical Sciences, and Ph.D in psychiatry, Medical Faculty, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. In Swedish, Medicine doktor i psykiatri ). He is Swedish Professor Emeritus of Public Health Sciences / Epidemiology. He was Formerly Professor of Epidemiology, and of International Health at the University of Gävle; and formerly Chair of the International and Cross-cultural Injury Epidemiology Research Group at the Karolinska Institutet. After been researcher at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience of the Karolinska Institute, he was Research Fellow and Lecturer in Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He has studied the relationship between PTSD and suicide among refugees.[1]He is also known for his activism on Human Rights causes (See below, Swedish Doctors For Human Rights).


Marcello Ferrada de Noli, also referred to as Ferrada-Noli,[2] was born in Chile 25 July 1943, in family of Italian ancestry rooted in Genoa (Liguria), descendants of the nobleman and explorer António de Noli. His father was a company owner and former officer in the Carabineers and an elite equestrian, and his mother was a university professor and artist. His first degree was in Philosophy, and he became a Full Professor of Psychology at the age of 27 (University of Chile, Arica, 1970); he was a Full Professor at the University of Concepción at the time of Augusto Pinochet's 1973 Chilean coup d'état.

Marcello Ferrada de Noli had a classical liberal ideological background, influenced by his eldest brother, a lawyer with previous membership in the right-wing Liberal Party. However, he later evolved towards left-liberal and social-libertarian positions. At age 22, Marcello Ferrada de Noli was one of the founders of MIR, the Movement of the Revolutionary Left.Template:Dubious MIR was a Chilean political party and former left-wing guerrilla organization (founded on October 12, 1965) prominent in the resistance to the Pinochet government. Together with his old-time school friend Miguel Enríquez (died in combat 1974) and Marco A. Enríquez, Ferrada de Noli was an author of the Political-military Theses of MIR - known also as La Tesis Insurreccional - the first document of MIR approved in its foundation congress of 1965;[3][4][5] there he represented left-libertarian standpoints.

During the government of the Christian Democratic Party, President Eduardo Frei Montalva declared MIR to be illegal and Marcello Ferrada de Noli was posted in the nationwide published wanted-list of thirteen fugitive MIR leaders,[6] together with his friends Miguel Enríquez, Bautista van Schouwen, and others. Later captured in August 1969[7] Ferrada de Noli was acquitted without trial after having been kept in isolation[8] at Concepción prison (La Cárcel). Altogether he had been captured or imprisoned on seven occasions for his political activities in Chile during his time in the MIR but was never condemned by a Chilean court.

In the aftermath of the resistance to the military coup of 1973 Marcello Ferrada de Noli was captured in Concepción and taken first to the Stadium and later was imprisoned in Quiriquina Island Prisoners Camp. After his liberation he went to Italy, where he was one of the witnesses before the Russell Tribunal which investigated human rights violations in Chile and Latin America. He then became a member of the Russell Tribunal Scientific Secretariat in Rome.[9] Afterwards, assigned by MIR to Sweden, he was granted Geneva Convention political refugee status after the intervention of one of the founders of the Swedish section of Amnesty International, the lawyer Hans Göran Franck. During his exile in Sweden Ferrada de Noli remained in operative activities of MIR's Comité Exterior until 1977, latterly assigned as head of counter-intelligence operations of MIR in Northern Europe at the times of Pinochet Operation Condor. He left MIR definitively in 1977 - two years after the killing by Pinochet’s security forces of his two closest friends Miguel Enriquez and Bautista Van Schouwen - and after unresolved ideological confrontations with the new MIR-leadership which advocated a broad political coalition comprising the Communist Party and the Christian Democratic Party (PDC), which Ferrada de Noli opposed.

In 1998, while Professor at the University of Tromsø in Norway, Ferrada de Noli publicly demanded the extradition of Pinochet, who was at the time in London, to stand trial in Scandinavia for the forced disappearance under captivity of his friends Bautista van Schouwen and Edgardo Enríquez.[10]


A discovery was the over-representation of immigrants in the epidemiology of suicide in Sweden. The phenomenon was first reported by Ferrada de Noli in 1990 as a statistical trend,[11] and later, in 1994, by establishing high significant statistical over-representations which demonstrated that immigrant status is a risk factor for suicidal deaths in Sweden.[12][13] In a nationwide study of 1996 he reported the Relative risk estimate for immigrant suicides in Sweden as a whole (1.5 more times than for a native Swede).[14][15] Being foreign-born immigrants fourteen percent of the Swedish population, the finding also had political relevance and called for reforms to be introduced. This was heightened when in a later investigation (1997) Ferrada-Noli et al. demonstrated that, compared with native Swedes, less immigrants who have died of suicide had sought help for their suicidal crisis; and that among those immigrants that did seek help at psychiatric emergency services, significantly less were admitted for further treatment, compared with native Swedes.[16]

Ferrada de Noli's conclusions on the negative correlation poverty-suicide in Sweden were at first debated by David Lester, the eminent suicide researcher and a follower in this regard of the Durkheim School.[17] However, a Swedish study conducted over a decade after at Stockholm University by Sara Magnusson and Ilkka Mäkinen[18] and which used nationwide epidemiological data, confirmed the early findings of Ferrada-Noli.

He is also credited with the identification of a new diagnostic category among suicidal behaviours (Metasuicide, referring to violent deaths in which self-inflicted lethal intent is deliberately concealed).[13]

Swedish Doctors For Human Rights – SWEDHR

Ferrada de Noli is the founder and chairman of Swedish Doctors for Human Rights (SWEDHR),[19] a non governmental research organization integrated by a group of professors and doctors operating in health-related areas, aimed to the research and report of effects of war atrocities in civil populations, torture of prisoners and human rights transgressions. The organization implements its endeavour in the following areas: country-scenarios were civil populations have been targeted by war crimes, transgressions by the part of governments on the human rights of individuals exposing war crimes, individual cases of doctors subjected to human rights violations, and research on the effects of torture in prisoners. See further description in the organization's Manifest.[20] The first elected board of SWEDHR was composed by Leif Elinder, Marcello Ferrada de Noli (Chairman), Martin Gelin, Alberto Gutierrez, Ove B. Johansson, Lena Oske, Armando Popa, Anders Romelsjö (Vice-Chairman), Marita Troye-Blomberg, and Luz Varela.[21] In 2015 Ferrada de Noli founded with a group of European academics and publishers the magazine online The Indicter, being elected editor-in-chief.[22]

Academic awards

On June 30, 2005, Marcello Ferrada de Noli was awarded the academic distinction Profesor Invitado of the Instituto Superior de Ciencias Médicas de La Habana by the Cuban authorities cited "for his dedication and commitment to the betterment of human life"[23] and "for his pioneering contributions to epidemiological research, and particularly his international studies on the phenomenon of suicide among immigrants and refugees".[24] In the Elogio académico accompanying the diploma were also listed his principal research findings. March 14, 2006, by the Medical Faculty of the University of Chile, ad-honorem appointment Profesor Agregado at the School of Public Health "in merit to the collaboration that you given to educational programs at the medical school". He received the academic award Mención al Mérito from the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León for among other things his book Teoría y Método de la Concientización published in Mexico 1972. Finally, upon retirement, he was awarded by University of Gävle(Sweden) the "title of distinction" Professor Emeritus of Public Health Sciences "in value of meritorious academic services" (1 July 2007).

Professor Emeritus

Marcello Ferrada de Noli retired from full academic activities 2008. As Professor Emeritus, he proceeded with academic assignments as Senior Advisor at the Dept. of Immunology, WGC, Stockholm University, until 2012; He was appointed by the Swedish Government (Ministry of Education and Research) as alternative scientific member of the Research Ethic Review Committee, Uppsala Region,[25] in 2005; the appointment was extended under the new government 2009. He resigned to the assignment in 2012. At present he is a permanent resident of Italy, where the Liguria-based Antonio de Noli Academic Society voted him Lifetime Honorary President in 2012. He co-authored in 2013 the book "Da Noli a Capo Verde - Antonio de Noli e l'inizio delle scoperte del Nuovo Mondo"[26] and he was also editor of the English version "From Noli To Cape Verde: Antonio de Noli and the beginning of the New World Discoveries".[27] In 2014 Ferrada de Noli founded the editing company Libertarian Books - Sweden,[28] where he published several titles, among other his book "Sweden VS. Assange. Human Righs Issues".[29]

Burnout-epidemic Controversy

Marcello Ferrada de Noli’s findings on the overrepresentation of suicide among immigrants and refugees in Sweden were not challenged, in spite of the sensitiveness of the issue and that the discoveries had wide media coverage.[30][31][32][33][34][35][36] On the contrary, his public opposition to the Swedish psychiatric diagnosis utbrändhet (referring to psychic exhaustion and/or depression caused by job stress) produced much controversy, as seen in the Swedish media,[37][38][39][40][41][42] TV[43][44] and Swedish medical publications.[45][46][47][48][49] In his article "The Emperor's burnt out clothes" ("Kejsarens utbrända kläder") published 2004 in Sociological Research[50] he objected the diagnosis for "lacking scientific and epidemiological grounds" and for referring to a "non medically verifiable" condition — ultimately suggesting that profit-interests of the researchers and psychotherapists[51] involved, as well as the anti-depressant drugs manufacturers',[52] were behind what he labelled "a pseudo-epidemics".[53] Ferrada de Noli first made his thesis known to the public in the debate-article "Job-stress burnout: merely a passing fad" (Utbrändheten - mest en modetrend), published by Sweden’s leading newspaper DN in October 2000,[54] where he argued a multiple-causality explanation of the phenomenon, not only a job-stress related one. The publication initiated a storm of protest among the professionals and politicians involved in the launching of the new diagnosis.

The Swedish Industry Minister Mona Sahlin, of the social democratic government, declared in the newspaper Expressen that the Ferrada de Noli's theses were "insulting, to put it mildly"; that the diagnosis utbrändhet was not related to familiar issues such as gender inequality; and that it is instead "related to bad organization in the working environment.[55] Ferrada de Noli called for a broader explanation of the burnout-phenomenon diathesis, such as the political changes exerted on the Swedish model during the 90’s initiated during the social democratic government of Göran Persson. These systemic changes, said the author, resulting in privatization of important sectors of the economy and rapid demobilization of welfare services and community organizations, also led to increasing individualism, ego-attention, and a "resurrection of Freudianism".[56] "It is the focus on our stressful lives that has increased, rather than the stress itself" he said, and claimed that a politically-caused real society problem has been reduced in the mind of individuals to the idea of a health related problem of their own - a classical alienation. They feel ill without having a disease, he said.[57] Ferrada de Noli's main epidemiological contention was that the Swedish authorities misconstrue statistics of the increasing number of sick leaves granted (which were mainly based on self-reports, and not on clinical findings)[58] with the real incidence and prevalence measurements of a disease. Another argument was that the levels of stress reported by individuals in a given society only partially have anything to do with "increased stress at work", and that the perceived stress by an individual is "a total sum" of a variety of stress inducing personal parameters such as finances, relationships, issues of gender equality, etc.[59]

Finally, the Swedish authorities, following the recommendations of a panel of experts appointed by the National Board of Health and Welfare, approved the inclusion of the new burnout-diagnosis and coined the term "exhaustion syndrome" (utmattningssyndrom). However, as DN pointed out,[60] the very researchers and/or protagonists of utbrändhet clinicians that proposed the new diagnosis, was part of the panel of experts selected by the health authorities. Neither Prof. Ferrada de Noli nor any other academic known to question the diagnosis utbrändhet was called on to participate on the panel.

By 2004, after a reform in the economic terms of health insurance, the number of sick-leaves reported as utbrändhet or utmattningssyndrom started to diminish notably and successively in Sweden; further, by 2010 they were less than the half of the 2006 figure.[61]—although reports in the media about the increasing stress in society and at work continued unabated. In a late exclusive interview with the newspaper DN in 2008,[62] Marcello Ferrada de Noli claimed that his opposition against the official thesis on utbrändhet had resulted in his having been denied research grants by the authorities.

References and Footnotes

  1. ["Post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal behavior: A narrative review". Clinical Psychology Review 29 (6): 471–82. August 2009. Template:Citation error. PMID 19539412. ]
  2. The official name is Ferrada de Noli, according to the Swedish Civil Registration, Skatteverket (The Swedish Tax Authority)
  3. Pedro Alfonso Valdés Navarro (2008) "Elementos teóricos en la formación y desarrollo del MIR durante el periodo 1965-1970". Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile. Tesis de grado. Pages 1-121 [1]
  4. Jose Leonel Calderon Lopez. "La politica del Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria (MIR) durante os dos primeros años de la Dictadura Militar. Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Departamento de Historia. Tesis de Grado. Pagina 21 [2] [3]
  5. Christopher Minster (2009) Chile's MIR: The Revolutionary Left Movement. Urban Guerrillas Declare War on the Pinochet Dictatorship. Latin American History [4]
  6. "A Través de la Historia Terrorista del Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria (MIR)". Article in Diario "El Mercurio", Santiago, 25-98-1973. Excerpt: "Agosto 4 (1969). Cerca de Concepción fue detenido el profesor de Filosofía y Miembro del Consejo Superior de la Universidad penquista Marcello Ferrada de Noli. Se trata de uno de los 13 miristas prófugos de la justicia contra los que existía orden de detención en el proceso por actividades subversivas del MIR"
  7. "Ferrada Noli, uno de los más destacados cerebros del MIR universitario, tenía orden de detención cursada por el ministro Broghamer desde Julio pasado, pero se las había ingeniado para eludir la acción de la policía"". Excerpt, artículo en Diario "La Patria", Concepción 3-08-1969
  8. "Ferrada Incomunicado". Article in Diario "Noticias de la Tarde", Concepción 5-08-1969
  9. The Scientific Secretariat of the Russell Tribunal II in Rome was presided over by Lelio Basso and Linda Bimbi, and had among its members Gabriel García Márquez and Vladimir Dedijer.
  10. a) Associated Press, November 1, 1998. "Chilean in Norway files against Pinochet". OSLO, Norway, Nov. 1 (AP). b), NTB/Dagblad, "Pinochet politianmeldt i Norge", Oslo, 1 Nov 1998 [5]
  11. Ferrada-Noli M (1990) The study of risk factors in psychological autopsies. Paper presented at the 3rd European Symposium on Suicidal Behaviour and Risk Factors, Bologna, Italy
  12. Ferrada-Noli M (1994). Psychiatric and Forensic Findings in Definite and Undetermined Suicides. An epidemiological and cross-cultural study. Thesis, Lic. Medical Sciences in Psychiatry. Dept Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Definite and undetermined forensic diagnoses of suicide among immigrants in Sweden". Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 91 (2): 130–5. February 1995. Template:Citation error. PMID 7778471. 
  14. Marcello Ferrada-Noli, Dept Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet (1996). Post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal behaviour in immigrants to Sweden. PhD dissertation. Abstract [6]
  15. Ferrada-Noli M (August 1997). "A cross-cultural breakdown of Swedish suicide". Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 96 (2): 108–16. Template:Citation error. PMID 9272194. 
  16. Ferrada-Noli, Marcello; Åsberg, Marie; Ormstad, Kari (1996). "Psychiatric care and transcultural factors in suicide incidence". Nordic Journal of Psychiatry 50: 21. Template:Citation error. 
  17. "Suicide and wealth in Sweden: comment on Ferrada-Noli". Psychological Reports 80 (1 Pt 1): 34. 1997. Template:Citation error. 
  18. "Sweden: Income and Suicide". Psychological Reports 107 (1 Pt 1): 157–162. 2010. Template:Citation error. 
  19. SWEDHR [7]. Retrieved 4 March 2015
  20. Manifest of the organization Swedish Doctors For Human Rights
  21. Board of the organization Swedish Doctors For Human Rights
  22. Originally a publication online of the organization SWEDHR, The Indicter declares in its presentation, "We denounce war crimes, human rights abuses, and assaults to privacy and civil liberties"
  23. [8]
  24. [9]
  25. [10]
  26. Astengo C, Balla M., Brigati I., Ferrada de Noli M., Gomes L., Hall T., Pires V., Rosetti C. Da Noli a Capo Verde. Antonio de Noli e l'inizio delle scoperte del Nuovo Mondo. Editor Prof. Alberto Peluffo. Marco Sabatelli Editore. Savona, 2013. ISBN 9788888449821 [11]
  27. Astengo C, Balla M., Ferrada de Noli M., Gomes L., Hall T., Pires V.: From Noli To Cape Verde. Antonio de Noli and the beginning of the New World Discoveries. Editor Prof. Marcello Ferrada de Noli. Published by the Antonio de Noli Academic Society, Noli (Savona)
  28. Libertarian Books - Sweden, [] Registered at the Swedish Tax Authority 2014-02-27
  29. Ferrada de Noli M. Sweden VS. Assange. Human Rights issues. Libertarian Books, Sweden, 2014. [12]
  30. Ferrada-Noli M. [Large increase in suicide among young immigrants] "Självmorden ökar starkt bland unga invandrare". Dagens Nyheter, DN Debatt, 21 Oct 2007 [13]
  31. Swedish National Television, SvT. Rapport. Reportage and interview with Marcello Ferrada-Noli, by Ann Lindgren, 1992
  32. Ferrada-Noli M. [Suicide among refugees hidden] "DN Debatt. Flyktingars självmord mörkläggs". Dagen Nyheter, 22 Nov 1996 [14] and [15]
  33. Ferrada-Noli M. [(Swedish) State does not care about refugees' suicides] "Staten nonchalerar flyktingars självmord". Aftonbladet debatt, 5 Oct 2001 [16]
  34. Swedish National Television, SvT. Rapport 22 Nov 1996. Reportage and interview with Marcello Ferrada-Noli
  35. Channel 3, Sweden, Reportage and interview with Marcello Ferrada-Noli. 22 Nov 1996
  36. Swedish National Television, SvT. Mosaik Mångkulturellt magasin. Reportage and interview with Marcello Ferrada-Noli, 16 Feb 1999 (SvT2), 18 Feb 1999 (SvT2) and 20 February 1999 (SvT1)
  37. Lindehag L. [He does not believe in work-related burnout] "Han tror inte på utbrändhet". Interview with Marcello Ferrada Noli [Swedish]. Expressen, 21 Oct 2000
  38. [No grounds for Stress-induced sudden death] "Inga belägg för ökad stressdöd". Interview with Marcello Ferrada-Noli [Swe] Geffle Dagblad, 14 Dec 2000
  39. Kjöller H. [Suffering not the same as illness] "Lidande är inte lika med sjukdom". Editorial article and interview with Marcello Ferrada-Noli [Swedish]. Dagens Nyheter, DN, 21 Jun 2006 [17]
  40. Askling Lena. [Burnout: the word is a passing fad -What a relief!] "Utbrändhet ett modeord - vilken lättnad". Aftonbladet. editorial article. 29 Oct 2000 [18]
  41. Danielsson A. [Professor dismisses grounds for sick-leave] "Professor dömer ut sjukskrivningar". Interview with Marcello Ferrada-Noli [Swe]. Svenska dagbladet, SvD, 19 Sept 2002 [19]
  42. Östman K. [Stress-induced burnout is an invention] "Utbrändhet är en påhitt". Interview with Marcello Ferrada-Noli [Swedish]. Aftonbladet, 14 Apr 2005 [20]
  43. National Swedish Television, SvT, Rapport. Interview with Marcello Ferrada-Noli at Karolinska Institutet. 20 Oct 2000
  44. TV4 Channel. Programme "Svart eller vit". Interview with Marcello Ferrada-Noli followed by debate. TV4 Studio, Stockholm, Nov 2000
  45. Ferrada-Noli M. [Occupational stress, suicide and fatigue depression]. Lakartidningen. 2001 Jun 27;98(26-27):3158-60. Swedish. PMID 11478215
  46. Ferrada-Noli M. [On the epidemiologic evidence of burnout]. Lakartidningen. 2001 Feb 14;98(7):710-2, 715. Swedish. Erratum in: Lakartidningen 2002 Nov 14;99(46):4703. PMID 11475260
  47. Ferrada-Noli M., [Is work-related stress the primary cause of sudden death?]. Lakartidningen. 2000 Dec 20;97(51-52):6108, 6110. Swedish. PMID 11195452
  48. Ferrada-Noli M. [Work-related stress and sudden death epidemiology]. Lakartidningen. 2000 Dec 13;97(50):5946-7. Swedish. [21] PMID 11188539
  49. Ferrada-Noli M. [On burnout among immigrants--epidemiologic objections]. Lakartidningen. 2002 Sep 5;99(36):3534, 3537-8. Swedish. PMID 12362754
  50. Ferrada-Noli M. [The Emperor's burnout clothes] "Kejsarens utbrända kläder". Sociologisk Forskning 2004, No. 1 [22]
  51. Ferrada-Noli M. [Clarifications on Stress-induced burnout] "Förtydligande om utbrändhet" [Swedish]. Aftonbladet, 19 Apr 2004 [23]
  52. Ferrada-Noli M., ". . .Om skandalen kring antidepressiva". Second-Opinion, 25 January 2010 [24]
  53. Ferrada-Noli M. [Diagnoses of work-related stress burnout on the retreat] "Utbrändhetsdiagnoser på reträtt". Svenska dagbladet, SvD, 29 Sept 202 [25]
  54. Ferrada-Noli M. "Utbrändheten mest en modetrend". Dagens Nyheter, DN-debatt, 20 Oct 2000 [26]
  55. Lindehag L. "Det är forelämpande". Interview with Mona Sahlin. Expressen 21 October 2000 [27]
  56. Ferrada de Noli M. Pseudo-Science in Swedish Rape Trials. With an Introduction on the Origins of State-Feminism in Sweden. Analysis. Professorsblogg, 29 Jul 2011 [28]
  57. In [Diagnoses of work-induced stress burnout on the retreat] "Utbrändhetsdiagnoser på reträtt" (SvD, 29 Sept 202), Ferrada de Noli ascribes this "reduction" to what he call the "Upplevelsehypotes" (The experience-hypothesis) supporters, which partly reproduces the paradigm illness/disease enunciated by Arthur Kleinman
  58. Ferrada-Noli M. Utmattningssyndrom är en kulturellt betingad diagnos unik för Sverige. Dagens Medicin, 3 October 2007 [29]
  59. DN Debatt. "Hälsoprofessor om sjukskrivningar: Utbrändheten mest en modetrend", Stockhom, 20 Oct 2000
  60. Kjöller H. [Sick Pray] "Sjuk lovsång". Dagens Nyheter, 15 Aug 2007 [30]
  61. Billner a. [Stress sick-leaves diminishes] "Allt färre sjukskrivs för stress". Dagens Nyheter, DN, 20 Jan 2001 [31]
  62. Mortensen P. [The professor has been sailing in dangerous waters]. "Professorn har seglat i farliga farvatten". Dagens Nyheter, DN, 23 July 20008 [32]

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