Fritt Ord Prize for 2013 Goes to Per Fugelli

Board of Fritt Ord published following statement: “Per Fugelli receives Fritt Ord Prize for 2013 for giving a voice to people with cancer and those who stand face to face with death.” Free Foundation Prize is the institution’s highest honor. The prize is Nok 400 000 and Freedom of Expression statuette. 

The award ceremony will take place at the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, Scene 2, Oslo on Tuesday 14 May 2013, at. 19.00. 

Per Fugelli got a cancer diagnosis in 2009 and on the basis of his own experiences of illness, he  helped to open up the discussion about what it means to be seriously ill. With wisdom and generosity he has drawn attention to our fear of talking about death. As Fugelli himself puts it: Our society today needs to “bring death out of jail for the banned word” About this, he has written the book Death shall we dance? (2010), a welcome contribution to the transparency of death in life.

Per Fugelli for years has been an independent critic of his own profession. He has been against the bureaucratisation of Norwegian health institutions. Fugelli has a humanistic approach to health and social policy, where the people are set in the center. He has stated that the best “social medicine” is to create and share the dignity with vulnerable groups such as ethnic minorities, the poor and disabled. 

Through countless speeches and fearless participation in a number of major debates, he has long been a significant contributor to the Norwegian public. 

Fugelli Per (born in Stavanger in 1943) is currently Professor of Social Medicine at the University of Oslo. Before he moved to Oslo in 1992, he was Professor of General Practice at the University of Bergen. Fugelli has also worked as a rural doctor in Lofoten and Finnmark. 

Among his early books are Tilbake til huslegen from 1975, Doktor på Værøy og Røst from 1977, and Helsetilstand og helsetjeneste på Værøy og Røst from 1978. He published the essay collections Med sordin og kanon and Helse og rettferdighet in 1990, 0-visjonen in 2003, and Nokpunktet in 2008. He has been editor or co-editor of several works, including Huslegen from 1985, Medisinsk lekskion from 1990, Medisin og helse from 1993, and Verdier og penger i helsetjenesten from 2009.

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