Statement of ADC “Memorial”

ADC “Memorial” got a hold of materials of a legal case against Uzbek citizen Mrs. A. and her husband Mr. Kh., who are both held in custody at the Center for detention of foreign citizens on charges of violation of immigration regulations. The reason for their arrest was a report filed by the doctor, who visited their child following an emergency call. Materials of the case also feature the very report by Dr. Yelena Tyurina, emergency on-call doctor of policlinic №29 of Kalininsky district of Saint Petersburg. This very alerted medical practitioner came to the house, where A. and Kh. lived, but while she found a seriously ill child there, she preferred not to treat him, but asked to see the documents of his parents instead. The parents’ residential registration somehow aroused her suspicion and she rushed to inform the procurator’s office about it. The procurator forwarded her report to the Federal Migration Service (FMS) and later FMS officers detained the whole family. Following that the child was placed into a hospital, while his parents ended up in detention.
Decision to place A. and Kh. into the Center for detention of foreign nationals is being appealed in court now, because the detainees do not considered themselves to be a guilty party – they had proper immigration cards, work patent and residential registration. The court will probably rule to free them from detention soon, but the stress, which the child survived, or the mistrust of immigrants towards doctors cannot be annulled by court. Do Dr. Tyurina and her colleagues who rush to “report” and “hand in” their clients to the police understand this? Do they realize that actions like this are only likely to result in possible refusal of parents to apply for professional medical care for their children, because if a child gets sick again, parents are not very likely to make an emergency call? The price of such “reports” could be the lives of children not saved by the emergency, because nobody would dare to call it.
Medical practitioners’ business should be taking care of the health and lives of their patients, while police and FMS – who haven’t made Hippocratic oath – should take care about finding the “violators of immigration regulations”. People, who think that proper residential registration is more important than life of a child, have no place in public healthcare.
Human rights activists call on medical personnel to take care of their own business – curing and treating sick people, keeping the trust of their patients and preserving honor of their profession. Please, leave “being on the alert” to police officers!