Three public medical institutions have been found guilty and forced to pay 600 thousand lei as moral damages for infecting a newborn with the HIV virus. Employees of these institutions have not taken all measures to diagnose and prevent the virus, which is characterized as negligence and lack of professionalism.
The case was represented in court by the Institute for Human Rights (IHR).
The institution was notified in 2017 by the baby's mother. The woman reported that in 2016, she gave birth to a boy, and a few days later, she found she was HIV- carrier and the baby was infected with this virus, although she had been tested twice during her pregnancy, the first result being negative.
To elucidate the circumstances of the child’s infection, the Ministry of Health was notified. Following the investigation initiated by the institution, a number of violations have been identified that led to the fact that the pregnant woman was not timely diagnosed with HIV and did not initiate the necessary treatment before and during the pregnancy. At the same time, the newborn was breastfed and did not undergo the ARV prophylaxis during the first 72 hours of life, which increased the risk of infection.
In September 2017, the IHR, representing the interests of the mother and the child, sued three medical institutions, claiming violations of multiple rights.
It was established in the case that the medical staff from various medical institutions, because of negligence and lack of professionalism, did not take all diagnostic and prevention measures with respect of the woman and as a result, the little boy was HIV infected. This could have been avoided if all the medical workers had done their job duties conscientiously and responsibly.
In June 2018, the trial court partially upheld the petition for legal actions and found violation of the right to health, physical and psychological integrity, life of the applicant's son by infecting him with the HIV virus as a result of errors and negligence, committed by medical staff. The violation of the applicant's right to health and physical integrity was also found to be due to the failure to diagnose the presence of HIV in the woman’s body during the pregnancy.
On the basis of these findings, the court ordered joint collection of the moral damages of 600 thousand lei from 3 medical institutions for the benefit of the petitioner (mother and son).
IHR announces that it will appeal the decision of the trial court to the Court of Appeal, because it did not rule payment of the full amount claimed (1 million lei) and the court did not find disclosure of confidential information regarding their state of health.