Posted by News Express | 2 March 2020 | 564 times
An Ikeja High Court has ordered government hospitals in Lagos State to stop demanding compulsory blood donations from women seeking antenatal and maternity services.
Justice Raliat Adebiyi, in the judgment delivered on Monday, also restrained government hospitals in Lagos from demanding blood donations from spouses and other relations of pregnant women seeking antenatal and maternity services.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the judgment was delivered following a fundamental human rights suit filed by the trustees of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project.
The respondents to the suit are the Attorney-General of Lagos State, Lagos State Ministry of Health and the Commissioner for Health, Lagos State.
“The respondents’ contributions to child and maternal deaths stands to reason. Though no data on the child and maternal mortalities recorded as a result of the policy was provided to the court.
“A policy that will deny citizens the right to medical care based on failure to donate blood is not only unconstitutional but unconscionable and adverse to the life and wellbeing of all citizens that access the respondent’s facilities,” she said.
Justice Adebiyi declared that the actions of the respondents in demanding compulsory blood donation from those seeking maternity services as “arbitrary, unfair and a violation of their human rights as enshrined in Section 38(1) of the 1999 Constitution.”
She said the actions of the hospitals and facilities were violations of and a denial of the rights of the residents of Lagos to a system of health protection.
According to her, the health system is expected to provide equality of opportunity as guaranteed under Articles 2 (a), 3 and 12 (1) of the International Convention on Economic Social and Cultural Rights.
She also declared that the actions of the Lagos government hospitals and health facilities were a denial of the right to life as guaranteed under Section 33 of the 1999 Constitution.
“The respondents are hereby ordered to forthwith immediately stop and discontinue the policy of insisting on compulsory blood donations from patients or relatives of those seeking medical care and attention before accessing antenatal, maternal or any health services in the facilities of the respondents,” Justice Adebiyi said.
SERAP, on their grounds for seeking reliefs, said that it had received complaints from residents of Lagos about the compulsory blood donation policy of government hospitals. (NAN)
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