The personal reception of the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia receives a big number of complaints of citizens regarding shortcomings during the investigation of probes into incidents of the medical area. In 2019 alone, the Chairman heard 38 persons on such issues during personal receptions.
The analysis of investigative practice shows that such complaints often relate to red-tape and consequently long investigation timelines. That is why a specialized unit for the professional, impartial, and prompt investigation of medical incidents has been created within the structure of the Main Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia. It consists of investigators who already have significant experience in such cases.
As we know, incidents related to the infliction of health damage or death of citizens in healthcare institutions always resonate strongly in the society and become a matter of discussion in mass media from different points of view. However, in most cases, these evaluations have nothing in common with the real circumstances of an incident. The Investigative Committee of Russia holds the position of non-disputing during the preliminary investigation and minimizing outgoing information on the investigative process until all investigative actions are completed. It is related to the fact that impartial conclusions can be drawn only after receiving results of examinations and their analysis in complex with other evidence.
In particular, at present, the Main Investigations Directorate has finished the investigation of two probes into events that occurred in Moscow and Vladimir Regions. These probes were initially investigated by the Regional Investigations Directorates but after the Chairman of the Investigative Committee personally received the victims complaining about the long investigation timelines the probes were referred to the Central Office upon the decision of the Chairman.
The probes are bringing to justice Acting Head of the Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Department of the Vladimir City Hospital No. 2 Sergey Manukhin accused of neglect of duty entailing by negligence the death of a minor (Part 2 of Article 293 of the Criminal Code of Russia) and dentist of the Children’s Department of the Naro-Fominsk Dental Outpatient Clinic Lidia Popova accused of infliction of death by negligence on a minor due to improper discharge of her professional duties (Part 2 of Article 109 of the Criminal Code of Russia).
According to the investigation, in September 2013, a two-year-old boy had been admitted to the Vladimir City Hospital with a diagnosis of “acute respiratory viral infection”. In the course of treatment, there had appeared a need for resuscitation to restore the upper respiratory tract of the patient. That day, Manukhin responsible for the organization of work of the Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Department had not come to work and failed to find someone to fill in for him. As a result, the child had been left without the required intensive care measures and died from acute respiratory failure.
The presence of the said violations was proved by the results of forensic examinations, questioning of witnesses and specialists, and other evidence.
Under the probe into Lidia Popova, investigators established that, in August 2016, she had opened a tooth cavity of the victim and improperly treated a root canal without consulting with a dental surgeon, leaving it open, which had led to the entry of infection into the child’s body. Popova had failed to arrange a follow-up over the health condition of the patient.
During the preliminary investigation, taking into account the results of forensic examinations, questioning of specialists, and other evidence, it was established that the untimely treatment that was not conservative enough led to leaving a source of chronic infection in the body of the minor patient. This caused the progress of the inflammatory process and the death of the child within 7 days after the health care visit.
The investigation has gathered enough evidence; therefore, the two probes have been referred to the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation to approve indictments.
Official spokesperson for the Investigative Committee of Russia S. Petrenko