Death of a four-year-old boy was not properly investigated (ECHR)

In today’s (10-1-2017) Chamber judgment in the case of Ioniță v. Romania (application no. 81270/12) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 2 (right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The case concerned the death of the applicants’ four-year-old son following an operation. The applicants complained that the authorities had failed to effectively investigate the incident, despite their repeated claims that
it had been caused by the negligence of medical staff.
The Court found that there had not been a proper investigation into the death, for the following reasons in particular. First, the medical authorities had failed to provide an additional forensic report about the incident, even though one was necessary.
Furthermore, the authorities had never established whether the supervising nurse had properly carried out her duties, even though these were highly relevant to the alleged cause of death.
Moreover, the domestic courts had also found no medical negligence on behalf of the doctors – even though disciplinary tribunals had found that they had failed to obtain the applicants’ informed consent for the procedure, and this consent had been required under Romanian law.
Finally, the proceedings had taken an unjustifiably long amount of time, given that six and a half years had elapsed between the death of the applicants’ son and the final decision in the case.( Read the Decision here


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