The Public Defender’s Recommendation to the Minister of Labor, Health and Social Affairs
In accordance with Paragraph B, Article 21 of the Organic Law on the Public Defender of Georgia, the Public Defender has addressed the Minister of Labor, Health and Social Affairs, Andria Urushadze, with a recommendation to study the issues connected with the death of infant D. G. who was transferred to the Makhinjauri Home for Infants and, if established that concrete persons failed to fulfill their obligations, demand that they be held responsible.
On October 5, 2010, the Special Preventive Group of the Public Defender’s Office visited the Makhinjauri Home for Infants to carry out monitoring. When studying the documents on the beneficiaries, the group members found out that on April 18, 2010, a beneficiary of the Makhinjauri Home for Infants, a newborn (12 days old) D. G., had died. In connection with the aforementioned fact, the members of the monitoring group took an explanatory note from the pediatrician of the institution. According to the explanatory note:
The beneficiary D. G., born on April 6, 2010, in the Khobi Center for Safe Motherhood and Child Survival, was admitted to the Makhinjauri Home for Infants on April 9 based on the decision of the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Regional Council of the Body of Guardianship and Care of the Agency of Social Service. A social worked assessed the child’s condition, and it was considered necessary to place him in a child care institution.
According to the pediatrician of the Makhinjauri Home for Infants, the newborn D. G. was brought to the institution by a social worker, doctor, and doctor’s assistant. The child was very agitated and cried continuously. The doctor’s assistant refused to unbind the child from the bandages, after which the bandages were unbound by the pediatrician of the Home for Infants. The child was in an utterly grave condition. On the demand of the pediatrician, the child was immediately transferred to the intensive care unit of the Batumi Republican Healthcare Center for Mothers and Children.
The infant D. G. died on April 18, 2010.
The Public Defender considers that the aforementioned case requires immediate inquiry by the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs in order to establish the following circumstances:
- Why the infant who was in an utterly grave condition was discharged from the Khobi Center for Safe Motherhood and Child Survival.
- Why the child was transferred to the Home for Infants when he needed urgent medical assistance.
It is important to answer these questions in order to ascertain whether the April 8, 2010 decision of the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Regional Council of the Body of Guardianship and Care of the Agency of Social Service was adequate to the real interests of the child.
The Public Defender considers that both the social worker and the medical personnel who discharged the child from the hospital and transferred him to the Home for Infants may have failed to fulfill their obligations and violated rights, which unjustifiably interrupted the provision of adequate and timely medical assistance.