CONVICTED TO FREEDOM IN MALPRACTICE CASE LITIGATED BY IDOM OR HOW THE LAW ON AMNESTY ‘WORKS’

Criminal conviction for medical malpractice. IDOM lawyers succeed in proving a medical malpractice incident within a criminal case.

In March 2018, the Supreme Court of Justice issued a final judgment in a medical malpractice case. Although a doctor was criminally convicted for a medical error that led to a patient’s death, the amnesty act applied by the highest court removed the consequences of the conviction. The amnesty served as a wall for the formal recognition of the guilt and was exclusively used to avoid the consequences of the conviction. This conclusion was later reconfirmed when the doctor denied her guilt in a civil case for the repair of damages for her criminal act.

Details of the case

In June 2013, a young patient died in a medical facility of Chișinău in just a few hours after being admitted. She was 24, had recently married and had been delivered of a baby girl two weeks before that.

The lawyers of IDOM’s Litigation and Advocacy Program took over the case and filed a criminal complaint in the interests of the husband of the deceased patient in July 2013. In our complaint, we requested a criminal case to be started on grounds of commission of the crimes set out in art.162 para.2) letter b) of the Criminal Case “Withholding Help from a Sick Person” and art.213 p.b) of the Criminal Code “Violation by Negligence of Medical Assistance Rules and Methods” by the medical staff of four medical facilities, who had provided assistance to the deceased patient at different stages.

The Râșcani District Prosecutor’s Office started a criminal case and pressed charges against an intensive care doctor from a Chișinău medical facility. The doctor was blamed that while she was acting as an intensive care doctor she ignored the rules and methods for providing medical assistance and while she was performing a surgery, viz. catheterizing patient’s central subclavian vein, on the left side by negligence injured the subclavian vein and the apex of the left lung, which caused severe bleeding in the pleural cavity and total collapsing of the left lung (the rib cage contained 3 litres of haemorrhagic liquid and 1.0 kg of coagulated blood mix), which caused the patient’s death.

The forensic report, in addition to the direct cause of the death, also found that the patient had received full, adequate, but late treatment at all stages of her hospitalization and so, the serious general condition of the patient was one of the contraindications for transferring her to another medical facility.

The commission set up by the Ministry of Health at the request of IDOM’s lawyer for examining the quality and quantity of the medical assistance provided to the patient, although flagging numerous gaps in the medical assistance provided to the patient, yet concluded that the medical assistance was suboptimal and that another tactics would have not changed the result and that the case had to considered unavoidable at the hospital level.

The conclusion was based on the fact that the patient was correctly diagnosed with a malign tumour only post mortem. Hence, while alive, although permanently in the sight of medical facilities, she had not been correctly diagnosed or received specific treatment for the disease she was suffering from.

The criminal investigation and trial of the case lasted for three years, during which the accused doctor never admitted her guilt in committing the crime, never atoned, and always pleaded innocent.

In 2016, the Rîșcani District Court of Chișinău ruled to find X guilty of committing the crime provided in art.213 letter b) Criminal Code and sentenced her to 1 year of imprisonment. According to art.90 of the Criminal Code, the enforcement of the punishment was conditionally suspended for a probation period of 2 years. Based on art.78 para.2) of the Criminal Code, the complementary punishment of deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or to carry out certain activities was removed.

The conviction sentence was appealed by the prosecutor and the successor of the injured party via the IDOM lawyer, on grounds of the mild punishment imposed. During the examination of the criminal case and in his verbal statements, the husband of the deceased patient never pleaded for a conviction with a real execution of the punishment by the doctor and let it to the court to establish the punishment. The only successor’s request was to deprive the doctor of the right to perform her doctor’s profession for three years and to reserve his right to file later a civil action for the recovery of his moral damages.

The defendant X also challenged the sentence of the Rîșcani District Court and in her appeal requested to be acquitted.

In February 2017, on the day set for the examination of the appeals, at the beginning of the meeting, the defendant filed a request for terminating the criminal case under the Law on Amnesty no.210 of 29 July 2016, invoking that she pleaded guilty and was feeling sorry. The defendant’s request to have the Law on Amnesty applied contravened her requests from her appeal in which she had not pleaded guilty and requested to be acquitted.

The Criminal Chamber of the Chişinău Court of Appeal decided to reject the appeals filed by the prosecutor of Rîșcani District Prosecutor’s Office, the successor of the injured party and the lawyer  Olesea Doronceanu against the sentence issued by the Rîșcani District Court as being groundless; to accept the appeal filed by the defendant X; to dismiss the sentence of the Rîșcani District Court; to terminate the criminal case against X and to have her release from criminal liability based on the amnesty act.

IDOM lawyers think that the Chișinău Court of Appeal in its judgment committed a serious violation of the rights of the successor of the injured party, and especially of the right to an efficient second appeal (failed to examine his appeal); his right to a fair and controversial proceeding; interpreted the law in an abusive, illegal and extinctive manner; violated the procedural norms for examining the appeal; and indicated findings that were not true and that had not taken place.

Thus, a legal proceeding that required over three years to prove a case of medical malpractice ended in several minutes in a Court of Appeals hearing by exempting the defendant from criminal liability. The doctor pleaded guilty, and not because she admitted she had erred, but rather in order to avoid criminal liability.

The IDOM lawyer filed a second appeal with the Supreme Court of Justice and requested that the judgment of the Chișinău Court of Appeal be quashed. In March 2018, the Supreme Court of Justice ruled to reject the second appeal. Although the court rejected the second appeal, one of the judges of the examining panel issued a split opinion thus pleading for a another solution than the one adopted by majority of votes.

In reasoning his separate opinion, the judge expressed most of the arguments of the defence on which the second appeal was based: i.e. in trying the appeal, the court completely vitiated the trial; it violated a number of procedural norms that generated a violation of the victims right to a fair trial and to an effective recourse (art,6,13 ECHR); the reasoning of the solution contravened the dispositional part of the judgement; the fact that the participants de facto had not attended the examination of the appeals; they did not express their opinions on the appeal etc.

In the opinion of IDOM’s lawyers, the amnesty act could not remove a criminal conviction but could serve as a reason for removing the consequences of the conviction i.e. it removes the criminal liability.

Although requesting the application of the amnesty act and its application is a defendant’s right, this right may not affect the rights of the victim who, in this case, was denied the right to a fair trial by a miming of the trial of the appeal and application of amnesty based on the defendant’s pleading guilty in a formal and insincere manner that was imposed by the circumstances.

Based on this case, we will file a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights invoking violations of the articles 2, 6, and 13 of the ECHR.

Continuity of the case at the national level

In 2017, the IDOM lawyer filed a complaint in the interests of the husband of the deceased patient against the medical facility in which the doctor was working for the compensation of the moral damages caused through the medical malpractice. In our civil action, we requested the court to find a violation of Arts.2 and 8 of the ECHR and collection of an X amount from the defendant for the plaintiff as compensation for the moral damages caused by the defendant’s illicit actions.

The representatives of the medical facility in which the medical malpractice took place do not acknowledge the action or the responsibility of the medical facility for their staff’s acts. The doctor who was convicted and then was pardoned in the criminal case attended all the court hearings and again pleaded innocent, although she had pleaded guilty during the criminal proceedings in order to avoid the consequences of her conviction.

The civil action is pending before the district court.

You may access the sentence and judgement of the Court of Appeal, the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice, and the split opinion of the Supreme Court of Justice here:

SENTINTA

Curtea Suprema de Justitie_DECIZIE

Curtea Suprema de Justitie_Opinie separata

DECIZIE_Colegiul Penal al Curtii de Apel Chisinau

 

THE RIGHT TO VOTE OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES DECLARED INCAPACITATED ACKNOWLEDGED BY COUNCIL FOR THE PREVENTION AND ELIMINATION OF DISCRIMINATION AND ASSURANCE OF EQUALITY

The Council for the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination and Assurance of Equality (CPEDAE) has ruled in a case started by the Moldovan Institute for Human Rights (IDOM) to find Article 13 para.(1) letter (b) of the Election Code: ”The persons incapacitated by a final court judgment […] are not entitled to elect,” as representing direct discrimination against the right to vote of persons declared incapable on grounds of disability.

On 28 Nov 2017, IDOM considered that a differentiated treatment had been applied to the petitioners on a disability criterion, although art.29 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities clearly establishes that persons with disabilities have the right to vote equally to everyone. At the same time, another group of persons with psychosocial impairments was treated in a discriminatory manner by association with persons declared incapacitated.

To recall that IDOM monitored the exercise of the right to vote by persons with mental disabilities during the 2016 presidential elections. Hence, IDOM found that the voting process unfolded with irregularities, since during the elections, the barriers faced by the persons with disabilities of the six residential institutions and three hospitals had not been removed.

In the two cases litigated by IDOM, CPEDAE found that the acts represented direct discrimination against the voting rights of persons declared incapacitated on a disability criterion as well as discrimination against the persons with psychosocial disabilities by association with persons declared incapacitated. At the same time, CPEDAE recommends amending Article 13 of the Election Code to secure the access of persons with mental and intellectual disabilities to the voting process, as its current version provides for a discriminatory treatment, which is in contradiction to the international provisions in human rights matters.

Please find attached the CPEDAE decision (in Romanian).

DECIZIE CONSILIU DEPERSONALIZATA

 

AMERICAN ORGANIZATION “DISABILITY RIGHTS INTERNATIONAL” AND MOLDOVAN INSTITUTE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS VISIT TOGETHER MOLDOVAN RESIDENTIAL AND MEDICAL INSTITUTIONS

On 30 and 31 January inst., IDOM together with an international team of experts led by the director of the US-based organization Disability Rights International (DRI) Eric Rosenthal conducted a few monitoring visits to the institutions subordinated to the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Protection, as follows:

  • Codru Clinical Psychiatric Hospital;
  • Center for Placement and Rehabilitation of Young Children;
  • Boarding House for Children with Mental Disabilities (boys) of Orhei;
  • Social House of Bădiceni, district of Soroca;
  • Children’s Temporary Placement and Rehabilitation Center of Bălţi.

After the monitoring visits, the US experts will prepare a country report to show the (non)-effectiveness of the system for the social protection of persons with mental disabilities, especially of children placed in socio-medical institutions. The conclusions and recommendations formulated by the experts will help identify practical solutions in order to strengthen the national system for the social protection of persons with disabilities held in residential and medical institutions.

DRI is a nongovernmental organization, set up in 1993, having its premises in Washington DC that aims to prevent discrimination and abuse faced by the persons with mental disabilities, providing support to governments with developing policy papers in the respective areas.

 

IDOM STARTS CASES TO REACQUIRE PROPERTY OF PERSONS WITH MENTAL DISABILITIES, DEFRAUDED AFTER INSTITUTIONALIZATION AND DEPRIVATON OF LEGAL CAPACITY

Last year, the Moldovan Institute for Human Rights (IDOM), through the attorneys of its Litigation and Advocacy Program, in partnership with Keystone Moldova, started a number of cases on the re-obtaining of property of persons with mental disabilities who had been defrauded during institutionalization and deprivation of their legal capacity.

According to the IDOM lawyer Valerian Mămăligă: “Until recently, a person with mental disabilities could be declared incapacitated under a court judgment and deprived of legal capacity. And so, the person would be deprived of their fundamental rights while their decisions would be made by their guardian. The persons under guardianship would often be placed in residential institutions while the guardian remained in charge of their property, including of its alienation. At present, with the amending of the Civil Code and of the Civil Procedure Code, more and more persons who had been declared incapacitated are now being reinstated in their rights by having their legal capacity acknowledged. Theoretically, they could return to the community but most of them do not have a place to live because other people live now in their houses, or they had been sold.”

One of such cases is the one of Ion (name is changed – author’s note) who lived with his family until he was 14, with his two sisters. After his parents died, he was placed in the Orhei Boarding House for Children with Mental Disabilities. Unfortunately, of the property he was supposed to inherit, there is only the land plot there now on which the family’s house was once located, while the other land plots had been fraudulently sold.

Keystone specialists intervened in this case and requested the assistance of an IDOM’s lawyer to obtain Ion’s inheritance share. Since the beneficiary had not accepted his succession in due term because the authorities of the Children’s Boarding House had not undertaken the necessary actions of information about the deadline for accepting the succession after mother’s death, the property right was assigned to his sister.

In order to redeem Ion’s inheritance rights, IDOM lawyer filed a complaint in court in Ion’s interests and requested prolongation of the term for accepting the succession after mother’s death, and namely one half of the testamentary property.

In another case, Sergiu (real name was changed – author’s note) was born with a congenital infection and is mentally retarded. He lived with his mother until he was 39 and then was placed in the Cocieri Boarding House. He has been there for 19 years. Five years ago, his mother sold the apartment, being unaware that her son had a share in it. The lawyers found that Sergiu’s mother in fact wanted to sell her apartment in exchange for life provision but she had been deceived by the buyer and in fact signed a sale and purchase contract. Sergiu had also lost his share in his Chișinău apartment because he had been misled and forced to sign a power of attorney with the notary by which he had granted his mother the right to dispose of his assets.

Later, when Sergiu’s mother understood that she had been deceived, together with her son filed a complaint in court for recognizing the nullity of the sale and purchase contract. The court ruled to reject their complaint as groundless, and thus they lost ownership of the only house they had.

IDOM lawyers intervened to provide legal assistance to Sergiu at the phase when the court judgement under which Sergiu and his mother had lost their ownership of their only house was appealed with Chișinău Court of Appeal. The latter ruled to accept the appeal, dismiss the first instance court judgement and recognize as void the apartment sale and purchase contract.

The dispute is now pending before the Supreme Court of Justice.

Regaining of one’s property right was also the goal in the case of Andrei (name is changed – author’s note) who has also been deprived of his legal capacity. His close relatives had refused to take care of him and so, the guardianship on him and his brother was assigned to a non-related person who at that time was holding the position of chief of the Department for the Protection of Child Rights. The guardian did not live together with his dependents, having placed him in the Boarding House of Bălți. After Andrei’s brother died, the guardian sold his brother’s share in the apartment to a relative without Andrei’s knowledge.

Keystone Moldova requested IDOM lawyers to provide legal assistance to Andrei, especially with verifying the legality of the guardian’s administration of his and his brother’s property and of the sale of one share of the joint property held by the latter.

According to IDOM lawyer Olesea Doronceanu – “Having reviewed the beneficiaries’ files, we found that their placement in a boarding house raised very many questions, while the administration of their property, and especially the sale of one share of their joint property is not clear and apparently abusive and contrary to the law.

We filed a criminal complaint in the beneficiary’s interests with the National Anticorruption Center (NAC) and requested it to start an investigation in order to establish the correctness, proportionality and legality of the guardian’s and guardianship body’s duties in regard to their dependents.

At IDOM’s request, NAC started a criminal case under art.328 of the Moldovan Criminal Code “Exceeding one’s power or exceeding one’s work duties”. The beneficiary was then found injured party and heard in the case.

The case is pending.

 

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MOLDOVA, THANKS TO IDOM, PREGNANT WOMEN LIVING WITH AIDS MAY DELIVER IN ANY COUNTRY’S MATERNITY FOLLOWING GENERAL RULES AND WITHOUT BEING DISCRIMINATED AGAINST

The Swedish Embassy in Chișinău –”We are very proud of the wonderful results obtained in 2017 by our partner NGOs in combating domestic violence, promotion of human rights and freedom of expression through the pluralist media. Women living with HIV may now deliver at any hospital in the country; people with mental disabilities may exercise equal rights before the law; 465 victims of domestic violence have enjoyed legal assistance, etc.”

Please read more about the local heroes and NGO efforts on the official webpage of the Swedish Embassy in Chișinău (story in English): http://bit.ly/2mYeRwz

IDOM ORGANIZES TRAINING TO EMPOWER PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL STAFF TO PREVENT TORTURE AND INHUMAN AND DEGRADING TREATMENT

The event was designated for the management (including chief doctors of sections, higher medical assistants, and staff responsible for patient assistance and supervision) of Orhei Psychiatric and TB Hospital.

Over 50 persons have been trained in preventing ill treatment based on the CPT standards and CAT recommendations. Trainers in this event were Dumitru Russu, Coordinator of IDOM’s Monitoring and Reporting Program, and Ion Caracuian, Head of the Torture Combating Section of the General Prosecutor’s Office of Moldova.

This activity was financially supported by Swedish Agency for International Cooperation Development (SIDA).

     

 

OVER 50 PERSONS TRAINED BY IDOM EXPERTS IN PREVENTION OF ILL-TREATMENT BASED ON CPT STANDARDS AND CAT RECOMMENDATIONS

On 13 December 2017, IDOM held a training on “Empowering the Staff of Psychiatric Hospitals in Preventing Torture and Inhuman and Degrading Treatment”. The event was dedicated to the management of Codru Clinical Psychiatric Hospital (including chief doctors of sections, higher medical assistants, and the staff responsible for assisting and supervising hospital patients).

Over 50 persons were trained in preventing ill treatment based on CPT standards and CAT recommendations. Trainers in the event were Dumitru Russu, Coordinator of IDOM’s Monitoring and Reporting Program, and Ion Caracuian, Head of the Torture Combating Section of the General Prosecutor’s Office of Moldova.

This activity was financially supported by Swedish Agency for International Cooperation Development (SIDA).

    

     

UN COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE REITERATES 90 PERCENT OF IDOM’S OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS SET OUT IN LATTER’S COUNTRY SHADOW REPORT

The UN Committee Against Torture has published its concluding observations as part of its 2017 review of the Republic of Moldova.

In this connection, the Committee reiterated 90 percent of IDOM’s observations and recommendations that the latter had set out in its shadow country report.

* The State party should ensure that all fundamental legal safeguards against torture are enjoyed in practice by all detained persons, including arrested persons and those in pretrial detention, from the outset of their deprivation of liberty;

The State party should monitor the provision of such safeguards and ensure that any official who fails to provide them in practice is subjected to disciplinary or other appropriate punishment;

* The right of detainees to have prompt and confidential access to a qualified and independent lawyer immediately after arrest and during all stages of detention, including hearings;

* The right of detainees to request and receive a medical examination conducted in confidentiality by an independent doctor within 24 hours of their arrival in a place of detention;

* Ensure that no one is held in pretrial detention for longer than prescribed by law;

* Amend its legislation and take all necessary measures to shorten the duration of pretrial detention and consider replacing pretrial detention for minor crimes with non-custodial measures, including electronic surveillance;

* Improve material conditions in temporary detention facilities and pretrial facilities and ensure that they have protocols and qualified staff to interact with persons with mental or intellectual disabilities;

* Independent monitoring mechanisms have access to psychiatric hospitals and neuro-psychological institutions, and provide for independent complaints mechanisms for patients in all psychiatric hospitals and psycho-neurological residential institutions and their family members;

* Ensure that prompt, impartial and effective investigations are undertaken into all allegations of abuse or violence, including any violence conducted or condoned by administrative and medical staff employed in such institutions; prosecute alleged perpetrators; and provide redress to victims;

* Ensure that no one is involuntarily placed in such institutions for non-medical reasons, including by ensuring that patients have the right to be heard in person by the judge ordering the hospitalization, that judges seek the opinion of a psychiatrist, and that such decisions can be appealed;

* Review all cases of persons who have been forcibly placed in psychiatric hospitals for non-medical reasons and provide them with an opportunity to be released and, as appropriate, receive redress;

* Undertake urgent measures to improve the material conditions, including food and hygiene, in all psychiatric hospitals and psycho-neurological residential institutions.

These are only some of the recommendations made for the Republic of Moldova.

All the findings and recommendations of the Committee may be found on the webpage: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/…/MDA/CAT_C_MDA_CO_3_29668_E.pdf

10 DECEMBER – INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY

Each year, on 10 December, the Moldovan Institute for Human Rights (IDOM) marks the International Human Rights Day.

This day must represent a moment of reflection for state institutions, civil society and citizens on the fact that human rights and fundamental freedoms should not be defied, violated or ignored.

In 2017, the International Human Rights Day constitutes the beginning of a campaign that will last for a year, to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

TOWARDS THE END OF THE YEAR, WE DRAW CONCLUSIONS AND TOTAL UP

In 2017, IDOM lawyers helped six persons, with psychosocial disabilities, to regain their legal capacity, thus giving them the opportunity to live a fulfilled and independent life, in conditions of dignity and equality for everyone.

The first case was of a man who had been deprived of his legal capacity when he was 18, at the insistence of the guardianship body. He had been deprived of the right to decide for himself, including of the right to marry or seek a job as well as of the rights to decide on his medical treatment, manner of living or planning of his life as a whole. This young man was supported in court by the UN Office for Human Rights and by our organization.

In the second case, a young man was represented in court by IDOM lawyers and with the support of Keystone Moldova. From the moment this young man was declared capable, his life changed. He already lives in the community and has recently got married. See the video report produced by Radio Free Europe: https://www.youtube.com/europalibera    

In other three cases, the lawyer of IDOM’s Litigation and Advocacy Program represented the interests of three petitioners in the proceedings for regaining their legal capacity. The petitioners, persons with mental disabilities, aged between 22 and 36, had been abandoned at birth and, at a young age, were placed in the Hâncești Boarding House for Children with Mental Disorders. After reaching their major age, the young women were deprived of their legal capacity and the grounds for their deprivation were not based on their incapacity to be reintegrated in the society but rather on the authorities’ incapacity of providing alternatives to the social protection system. During the court hearings of October inst., all the interested persons supported the action and proved that the young women possessed enough life skills and capacities to be reintegrated in the society.

The sixth person was yesterday declared capable by the court. IDOM was again involved in this case and helped her regain her legal capacity.

To recall that in April 2017, the UN Committee for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recommended to the Republic of Moldova to take a number of measures for improving the situation of such persons, one of which referred to the recovery of full legal capacity of all people with disabilities and to having its guardianship system revised, so that to introduce assisted decision-making mechanisms.

IDOM PRESENTS IN PRESS CONFERENCE THE RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS COLLECTED AFTER THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF 21 NOVEMBER INST.

Today, 30 November 2017, the Moldovan Institute for Human Rights (IDOM) organized a press conference entitled “Deficiencies and Solutions for Securing the Respect for Human Rights of People with Mental Disabilities, People Living with HIV/AIDS and Victims of Medical Malpractice in Moldova.” The event took place at IDOM’s premises.

At the conference, the Project Coordinator Radu Bobeică presented the results and conclusions collected after the National Conference held on 21 Nov 2017. They will be included in the papers developed and then passed over to the public sector decision makers.

This event was possible thanks to the generous support of the American people through the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

For more details, please contact Radu Bobeică, Project Coordinator in IDOM (tel: +373 767 15 585 or email: radubobeica@yahoo.com).

Photo from the event:

    

IDOM ORGANIZES ANOTHER TRAINING FOR MANAGEMENT, INCLUDING CHIEF DOCTORS OF SECTIONS, HIGHER MEDICAL ASSISTANTS AND STAFF RESPONSIBLE FOR PATIENT ASSISTANCE AND SUPERVISION OF BĂLȚI PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL

Today, 27 December 2017, IDOM has organized a training on “Empowering the Staff of Psychiatric Hospitals in Preventing Torture and Inhuman and Degrading Treatment”

The event was designated for the management (including chief doctors of sections, higher medical assistants, and the staff responsible for patient assistance and supervision) of Bălți Psychiatric Hospital.

Over 70 persons have been trained in preventing ill treatment based on the CPT standards an CAT recommendations. Trainers in this event were Dumitru Russu, Coordinator of IDOM’s Monitoring and Reporting Program, and Ion Caracuian, Head of the Torture Combating Section of the General Prosecutor’s Office of Moldova.

This activity was financially supported by Swedish Agency for International Cooperation Development (SIDA).

IDOM ORGANIZES NATIONAL CONFERENCE

The conference was held on 21 November 2017, in the Ministry of Justice building, on 31 August 1989 Str., Chișinău. 

The event aimed to inform the participants about the most relevant issues related to human rights from the perspective of IDOM, and to seek solutions so that not to allow infringements with regard to the persons living with HIV/AIDS, persons with mental disabilities, and victims of medical malpractice.

The reunion was structured into sessions and discussion panels that aimed at clearing the key issues related to the areas discussed and respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The following acted as trainers/resource persons in the event: Vanu Jereghi – Executive Director, IDOM; Boris Gîlca – State Secretary General of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection of Moldova; Tatiana Moraru – Head of the Division for Analysis, Monitoring and Evaluation of Policies of the Ministry of Justice of Moldova; Rodica Gramma – Dr. of Philosophic Sciences, University Lecturer, IDOM Expert; Ion Dodon – Attorney, IDOM Expert; Arcadie Astrahan – Director, Community Hospital for Mental Health, Botanica District of Chisinau, IDOM Expert; Olesea Doronceanu – Attorney of the Litigation and Advocacy Program of IDOM; Dumitru Russu – Coordinator of the Monitoring and Reporting Program of IDOM; Alexandru Cebanaș – Attorney and Consultant of the Monitoring and Reporting Program of IDOM, and Radu Bobeică – Lawyer, Project Coordinator, IDOM.

The last session was dedicated to presenting the conclusions and recommendations with regard to the gaps identified and solutions proposed. In this connection, the participants took part in the discussions aimed to remove the barriers in securing the respect for human rights of the vulnerable groups discussed. During the conference, IDOM collected the opinions and suggestions of the participations in relation to the topic tackled, in order to include them in the documents developed to be subsequently sent to the decision-makers of the public sector.

The Study Assessing National Policies on Medical Malpractice and Securing Respect for Patient Rights in Moldova, presented during the event, can be accessed here: http://idom.md/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/IDOM_-Studiu-MALPRAXIS-1.pdf

This event was possible due to the generous aid of the American people, provided through the US Agency for International Development (USAID). The opinions belong to the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the USAID or US Government. The national conference was held in cooperation with USAID/FHI, the Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency (Sida), and the Embassy of Sweden in Chișinău.

For more details, please contact Radu Bobeică, Project Coordinator at IDOM (tel: +373 767 15 585 or email: radubobeica@yahoo.com).

Photos from the event:

    

     

    

 

     

     

     

      

      

      

     

     

      

      

     

       

     

     

     

     

 

IDOM FURTHER DEFENDS PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES WHO HAVE THE SAME LEGAL CAPACITY AS OTHER CITIZENS AND MAY UNHINDEREDLY EXERCISE THEIR RIGHT TO VOTE

The Moldovan Institute for Human Rights (IDOM) monitored the presidential elections of 30 October 2016. Thirty IDOM national observers, accredited by the Central Election Commission, were assigned to 9 institutions (3 psychiatric hospitals and 6 social care houses) to monitor how persons with mental disabilities exercised their right to vote. The observers had been trained in advance regarding the particularities of voting in such institutions, the provisions of the Election Code, and the possibility of persons with disabilities to exercise their right to vote. This action took place under the Project “Monitoring the Observance of the Election Rights of Residents of Psychiatric Institutions and Social Care Houses of Moldova During the 2016 Presidential Elections,” implemented by IDOM, with the financial support of the East European Foundation.

IDOM found that the voting unfolded with irregularities that resulted in low presence/admission to the voting booths of the voters from the six social care houses [1] and three psychiatric hospitals [2].

An example in this sense is the voting held in the Social Care House of Bădiceni, Soroca, where only four residents, out of the total number of 431 registered on 30 Oct 2016, voted. The other residents had a special status mentioned in the database, or there was a court judgment in their regard that declared them incapacitated, and so, they could not exercise their right to vote.

In view of securing the exercise of the election right to persons with intellectual or psycho-social impairments, in October 2017, IDOM lawyers filed two complaints with the court and other two with the Council for the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination and Assurance of Equality in (CPEDAE), in which IDOM requests these two institutions to find discrimination in exercising the right to vote by the plaintiffs in the presidential elections of 30 Oct 2016 on grounds of disability and of their association with persons with mental disabilities, according to Art.12 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

According to Article 12 of the CRPD and General Comment No.1 of the CRPD Committee, the right to legal capacity is a legal construct that recognizes the persons as holders of rights, as persons before the law and that enables them to exercise their rights by making decisions of mandatory character, and that must be respected. The legal capacity must be enjoyed in all aspects of life, from making daily decisions (such as concluding sales and purchase contracts or for selling basic goods and products) up to making decisions about personal relations (marriage, sexual relations and reproduction), career (education and the possibility to conclude work contracts or contracts of commercial character), health (consent to or refusal of medical treatment), participation in political processes (voting, running in elections), and a multitude of other more or less significant decisions. The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights describes legal capacity as a concept that goes beyond decision-making: “it is about what it means to be a human being”.


[1] Social Care House (SCH) of Bălți; SCH of Brânzeni, Soroca; SCH of Bădiceni, Edineț; SCH Cocieri, Dubăsari; Boarding School for Children (boys) with Mental Disabilities of  Orhei and the Boarding School for Children (girls) with Mental Disabilities of Hîncești.

[2] Psychiatric Clinical Hospital of Chișinău, Psychiatric Clinical Hospital of Bălți, and the Psychiatric Clinical Hospital of Orhei.

IDOM PRESENTED THE STUDY ASSESSING NATIONAL POLICIES ON MEDICAL MALPRACTICE AND SECURING RESPECT FOR PATIENT RIGTH IN MOLDOVA

On 27 October 2017, in a press conference, the experts of the Moldovan Institute for Human Rights (IDOM) presented the Study Assessing National Policies on Medical Malpractice and Securing Respect for Patient Rights in Moldova.

The event took place at IPN and can be followed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrm8ZKyl7FY 

The document presented will be revised after collecting the opinions of all stakeholders, but until then, can be accessed here: http://idom.md/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/IDOM_Draft-Studiu-Malpraxis_31-OCTOMBRIE-2017-1.pdf 

Other news stories on this topic that subsequently came out in the media:

  1. http://radiochisinau.md/medicii-sustin-ideea-promovarii-unei-legi-care-sa-reglementeze-cazurile-de-malpraxis—58411.html
  2. https://deschide.md/ro/stiri/social/20420/IDOM-%C3%8En-Moldova-lipse%C8%99te-legisla%C8%9Bia-care-ar-solu%C8%9Biona-efectiv-cazurile-de-malpraxis.htm
  3. https://www.europalibera.org/a/de-ce-este-necesara-o-lege-a-malpraxisului/28819779.html
  4. https://inro.news/stiri/medicii-sustin-ideea-promovarii-unei-legi-care-sa-reglementeze-cazurile-de-malpraxis.html
  5. http://ipn.md/ro/societate/87237
  6. http://ipn.md/ro/societate/87245
  7. https://www.facebook.com/OchiulPublic/videos/1298048990295043/
Vanu Jereghi
Rodica Gramma

 

Radu Bobeica

 

Arcadie Astrahan

THREE YOUNG WOMEN, DEPRIVED OF LEGAL CAPACITY AFTER REACHING MAJOR AGE, RULED LEGALLY COMPETENT PERSONS WITH FULL RIGHTS BY COURT TODAY

The Moldovan Human Rights Institute (IDOM), through Lawyer Olesea Doronceanu of the Litigation and Advocacy Program, represented the interests of three petitioners in legal proceedings to reacquire their legal capacity.

The petitioners, persons with mental disabilities, aged between 22 and 36, had been abandoned at birth and a young age were placed in the Hâncești Boarding House for Children with Mental Disorders. After reaching their major age, the young women were deprived of their legal capacity and the grounds for their deprivation were not based on their incapacity to be reintegrated in the society but rather on the authorities’ incapacity of providing alternatives to the social protection system.

Having the women declared incapacitated and setting up tutorship for them deprived them of the possibility to realize the rights and safeguards set out by the national and international law: they could not sign legal acts, did not have the right to marry, could not create a family, could not decide on conceiving a child, or participate in elections, and could be placed in medical facilities and subject to treatment without their consent, could not go to court, could not file petitions, were restricted in their rights to freedom and free movement, etc.

During the court hearings, all the interested persons supported the action and proved that the young women possessed enough life skills and capacities to be reintegrated in the society.

The Hâncești District Court ruled today to accept the action and to acknowledge the three petitioners as legally competent persons, thus ensuring respect for their rights and giving them the possibility to live a fulfilled life, in conditions of equality and dignity.

Please find attached the court judgment on this case.

Anexa Hotarire Judecatoreasca

PRESENTATION OF STUDY ASSESSING NATIONAL POLICIES ON MEDICAL MALPRACTICE AND SECURING RESPECT FOR PATIENT RIGHTS IN MOLDOVA

On 25 October 2017, the Moldovan Human Rights Institute (IDOM) held a roundtable to present the Study Assessing the National Policies on Medical Malpractice and Securing Respect for Patient Rights in Moldova.

The organizers intended to inform the participants about the most relevant problems related to human rights with regard to medical malpractice and to seek solutions for improving the legal framework in this area.

The meeting was structured in sessions and discussion panels that aimed to elucidate the key issues related to the respective areas and the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The last session was dedicated to presenting the conclusions and recommendations on the gaps identified and solutions proposed.

To note that IDOM will soon hold a press conference to present the Study results and conclusions, together with the appropriate recommendations, to the public at large. 

The Study will then be published on IDOM’s website –www.idom.md.

This activity was possible thanks to the generous aid of the American people provided through the US Agency for International Development (USAID). The opinions expressed belong to the Moldovan Institute for Human Rights (IDOM) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of USAID or of the US Government.

     

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

STUDY VISIT TO AUSTRIA

Between 9 and 13 October 2017, a representative of the Monitoring and Reporting Program of the Moldovan Human Rights Institute (IDOM), together with the representatives of other nongovernmental  organizations for the rights of persons with disabilities (Keystone Moldova, Center of Legal Assistance to Persons with Disabilities (CLAPD), the Association “MOTIVAȚIE” , Alliance of Organizations for Persons with Disabilities (AOPD), and the Association “Sustainable Social Services”) took part in a study visit to Austria, an event organized by Easpd Brussels (the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities).

The purpose of the visit was resumed to familiarizing Moldova’s representatives with Austria’s practice, exchanging experience between the two countries, and taking over the good practices, especially with enforcing Article 33 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and creating an independent monitoring mechanism.

The success of the Austrian reform in defending the rights of persons with disabilities to a great extent depended on the efforts made by the civil society and the authorities, which mobilized themselves and worked in this sense, laying emphasis on improving the quality of life of the persons with disabilities and their social inclusion by removing the discriminatory practices and legal measures that impeded the enforcement of the Convention’s provisions.

The study visit was organized under the project “Promotion and Monitoring of the Rights of Persons with Mental Disabilities from Residential Institutions,” implemented by Keystone Moldova, AOPD and EASPD from the funds of the European Union.

    

NOTIFICATIONS, FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF MOLDOVAN HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT, SOME CONTAINED IN RECOMMENDATIONS BY UN COMMITTEE FOR ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS (CESCR)

On 6 October 2017, the UN Committee for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) published the conclusions and recommendations for the Republic of Moldova on implementation and observance of the rights recognized and guaranteed through the signing of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The Moldovan Human Rights Institute (IDOM) together with the Mental Disability Advocacy Centre (MDAC) prepared and sent to CESCR a joint report focused on a comprehensive analysis of the respect for human rights, especially on the respect for the rights of persons with mental disabilities and for the rights of persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV). The joint report included an analysis of the existing situation in Moldova in terms of the most frequent human rights violations and recommended making amendments to the national legislation, policies and practices that had generated violations of the rights guaranteed by the Covenant.

The contribution of IDOM and of the Moldovan civil society to improving the situation with observance of human rights found reflection in the CESCR’s recently published conclusions, in sense that most of the problems flagged and recommendations suggested are found in CESCR observations and conclusions.

In the PLHIV area, IDOM flagged violations of the rights of PLHIV through the failure to keep confidential private data about their health condition, and recommended that those legal acts that are subordinated to the law and allow disclosure of confidential information be cancelled; the need to make changes to Art.212 of the Moldovan Criminal Code by revising the criminalization of HIV transmission; removal of the criminalization of the expose to the HIV contamination risk; removal of discriminatory provisions that criminalize HIV infection only by a person who lives with HIV, etc. IDOM’s notifications in this area had been taken over and can be found in p.64 and p.65 of the CESCR Recommendations.

In the mental health area, IDOM flagged human rights violations through unjustified deprivation of legal capacity of persons with mental disabilities; prohibiting them to marry and create a family, violation of the rights on freedom to choose the place to live; discrimination of persons with disabilities in the social security area; violation of the right to the highest standard of physical and mental health by providing insufficient and unqualified medical assistance; subjecting the persons with disabilities to ill-treatment; speeding up the reform on the deinstitutionalization of persons with disabilities placed in psychiatric hospitals or psycho-neurological institutions; establishing protection measure that would be alternative to deprivation of legal capacity and guardianship and be focused on supported decision-making.

IDOM’s notifications, findings and recommendations were taken into account and some of them are found in CESCR Recommendations.

IDOM will continue monitoring the implementation and observance of CESCR recommendations by the authorities, which in fact are a priority and can also be found in the national strategies on justice and human rights for the following period.

Click here for the UN Committee recommendations:

http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=E%2FC.12%2FMDA%2FCO%2F3&Lang=En