The case of Mirela Čavajda, a 39-year-old pregnant woman whose request to have an abortion during the 26th week of pregnancy after the fetus was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor was rejected by four hospitals in Zagreb, and caused enormous outrage across the country last month, with demands for the reproductive rights and healthcare rights of Croatian women to be respected.
Considering that omissions of non-compliance with the Law on Protection of Patients’ Rights, such as the right to complete information, were established during the investigation into Mirela’s case, the Health Inspectorate has now initiated misdemeanor proceedings before the competent misdemeanor court, reports Telegram.hr.
The hospital faces a fine of up to 50,000 kuna
The Health Inspectorate determined that the first-instance commission of KB Sveti Duh decided on Mirela Čavajda’s request to terminate her pregnancy on May 3 this year, but did not submit its decision to the patient. Additionally, the patient was not informed that she had the right to contact the second-instance commission of the University Hospital Centre Zagreb.
The inspection found that this violated the Law on Patients’ Rights, which stipulates that “patients have the right to be fully informed about the course of treatment when healthcare is being provided to them.”
For these offenses, a fine of 10,000 to 50,000 kuna is envisaged for the hospital, and the requirement to pay a fine of 5,000 to 10,000 kuna is imposed the responsible person, in this case, the director of the hospital, Ana-Marija Šimundić. KB Sveti Duh was one of four Zagreb hospitals that refused to terminate Mirela Čavajda’s pregnancy in the sixth month of gestation after the fetus was found to have an extremely serious brain tumor.
The medical procedure will finally be possible for Mirela in neighbouring Slovenia, and the costs of the procedure will be covered thanks to donations from 1,472 natural persons and 16 legal entities, who donated 220,687 kuna and 37 lipa through the SOLIDARNA foundation, and with the cooperation of CESI, RODA, and PaRiter. The cost of the medical procedure in Slovenia otherwise stands at 5,000 euros.
For more, check out our politics section.