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Bribery resulted in criminal case: surgeon extorted money for surgery on HIV-positive person

Despite a real threat to the HIV-positive man’s life, the surgeon claimed that the patient did not need surgery. At the same time in private conversation he recognized that the surgical invasion was necessary, but it could be carried out under a condition: the patient had to pay extra money for risking the surgeon’s life. Lawyers of Novoaydarsky Community Law Center helped break the deadlock the needy family appeared in.

“My husband’s life is threatened”! The residents of Luhansk region told employees of Community Law Center at NGO “Public Service of Legal Aid”. Irina* informed that her husband Igor* had the HIV status. Now he is in the regional hospital and urgently needs surgery. The situation is difficult: the surgeon states in public that there no indications for surgery. However, in private talks to the wife he openly declared: the surgical invasion is needed, but he is ready to risk his own life performing surgery on the HIV-positive person only for additional fee.

Irina was in despair, as her family was internally displaced and she couldn’t afford it due to low earnings. At the same time Igor’s health was getting worse.

Having listened to the story, the lawyer of the Center Anastasia Pavlova assured the woman that though the situation was complicated, but could be resolved.e “About counteraction to spread of diseases predetermined by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), legal and social protection of persons living with HIV” and the Criminal Code of Ukraine.**

“We helped to draw up and file complaints against the physician’s actions to the administration of the hospital and the Department of Health Care at Luhansk State Regional Administration, and also submitted the statement to Novoaydarsky Regional Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine”, Anastasia Pavlova noted.

As a result criminal proceedings were initiated against the physici

When advising Irina, the lawyer referred to the Law of Ukrainan, and Igor was operated.

So due to opportunity of receiving free legal aid, the family managed to rescue the man’s health and punish the venal physician.

*Names of persons featured in publication are changed for ethical reasons.

**Legal reference:
The Constitution of Ukraine: Article 49. Everyone has the right to health protection, medical care and medical insurance.

The Law of Ukraine "About counteraction to spread of diseases predetermined by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), legal and social protection of persons living with HIV”. Article 10. Medical care of persons living with HIV. Article 14. Equality before the law and a prohibition of discrimination of persons living with HIV and persons who belong to groups of the increased risk of being infected with HIV. Article 15. Other rights of persons living with HIV.

The Criminal Code of Ukraine. Comment to Article 184. Violation of the right to free medical care.

P.S. Community Law Centers are created and work in the framework of the “Legal aid to the poor and vulnerable groups” Initiative with the financial support of the “Human Rights and Justice” Program Initiative of the International Renaissance Foundation. Read more about activity of Community Law Center network, basics and principles of work on the website “LegalSpace”.

The opinion of the International Renaissance Foundation cannot coincide with the point of view of authors of publication.

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