Response stories

Refusal to provide emergency medical care due to drug addiction

Kateryna turned to the trauma center to receive external medical assistance. Her roommate smashed a woman’s head during another quarrel. However, after hearing that Kateryna was a drug addict, the doctor refused to stop the bleeding and apply stitches, arguing that the woman had no money. The doctor said that as soon as the patient has money, he will be able to provide help. Moreover, the doctor emphasized that “treating drug addicts is a double risk because one can catch some kind of infection,” and he is not going to risk his life for the sake of the patient.

Bleeding, Kateryna was forced to call an ambulance herself, after which she was taken to the other end of the city. As a result, the woman lost a large amount of blood and after receiving the necessary help, it took a long time to recover and regain consciousness.

After some time, the client turned to the paralegal of the partner organization, who immediately came to Kateryna in the hospital and provided psychological help on the spot. Later, together with the REAct documentator, the client wrote a statement to the chief physician regarding the actions of the traumatologist, who did not provide Kateryna with emergency medical care. After considering the application, the doctor was reprimanded and informed of possible criminal liability under Article 139 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. In addition, the hospital management obliged the doctor to attend training on overcoming stigma and discrimination to prevent similar cases.