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On irresponsible behaviour which left a baby with HIV

07.06.2013

Oleh Nesynov from the Kharkiv Human Rights Group Network Legal Aid Network for Vulnerable Groups in Society recently succeeded in getting a child infected with HIV half a million UAH in compensation.

The baby simply had the misfortune of being born in a hospital where at the same time there was another child with HIV. The baby was infected through a needle which the staff had obviously not sterilized. This was in 1997 before single-use syringes became the norm.

The first instance court awarded 135 thousand UAH compensation, however this was found to be too little by the court of appeal.  The judgement points out that the claimant had been forced to change her lifestyle; make extra efforts to maintain the child’s health and life; and experience difficulties and restrictions in communication with those around. It also notes the enormous psychological strain, etc.

The Dnipropetrovsk Children’s Clinic No. 3 under the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Council has been ordered to pay 500 thousand UAH in compensation to the young girl who is now 16 years old.

Aigul Mukanova, KHPG lawyer, explains that the judgement is important since it’s the first time that a Ukrainian court has allowed a civil suit for compensation over infection with HIV by personnel of a hospital, and where a commensurate amount has been awarded in compensation.  She says that as a rule such civil suits are rejected or the amount of compensation is pitiful. 

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