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Denied access to basic human rights

Jun 08,2017 - Last updated at Jun 08,2017

On June 4, 24 lawyers working at Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD) registered the case of the nine-year-old Sadeen in court.

Sadeen died in early May because of alleged medical negligence while she was receiving treatment at Princess Rahma Hospital in the Irbid Governorate. 

By having so many lawyers register the case in court, we underline the societal importance of this case. 

Further investigations by the general prosecution will hopefully lead to clear answers on what exactly caused Sadeen’s death.

According to several media reports, Sadeen’s death was caused by a delay in obtaining the exemption for transfer to a specialised hospital.

The father received a paper from the doctor diagnosing the condition of the child, and went directly to the public service department of the Royal Court for exemption, as he did not have the financial ability to pay for specialised treatment at King Abdullah Hospital.

The case of Sadeen is a clear illustration of how complex legal mechanisms are to obtain exemptions in such emergencies.

It also shows that there is an absence of a comprehensive health insurance in Jordan that can cover everybody, including marginalised groups in society.

This inefficiency in the medical system curtails the most important human rights of children in Jordan, such as the right to life and the right to healthcare.

Article 6.2 of the Convention of the Rights of the Child states that “states parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child”.

Along with it, Article 24.1 of the CRC calls for state parties “to strive to ensure that no child is deprived of his or her right of access to such health care services”.

The case of Sadeen is illustrative of the need to rethink the way the government is fulfilling its obligations vis-à-vis its most vulnerable segment of population, namely children.

In Jordan, emergency healthcare is not free for children and adults over the age of six.

Patients who do not have medical insurance have to pay the medical treatments out of their own pockets.

There is a possibility to claim exemption at the Ministry of Health, but this is a time-consuming process that requires three days or more.

The Jordanian healthcare system should reflect social and legal justice. Nobody should have to die because of bureaucracy.

ARDD wants to ensure that children like Sadeen (0 to 18 years old) can enjoy their right to full access to emergency healthcare, so that cases like hers are not repeated.

As a signatory of the CRC, Jordan has a duty to fulfil its international obligation vis-à-vis children by instating a legal framework to ensure the basic right to healthcare. 

ARDD also calls on the international community to assist Jordan in fulfilling its right.

While Jordan needs to fulfil its international fiscal obligations, the international community should not accept budget cuts that endanger the very basic rights of its most vulnerable populations.

 

 

The writer is CEO of ARDD. She contributed this article to The Jordan Times.

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THIS IS SAD AND UNFORTUNATELY, IT IS THE TREND IN MANY COUNTRIES DEVELOPED OR UNDEVELOPED. WE LIVE IN THE WORLD TODAY WHERE POORVERTY MEANS HELPLESSNESS, HOPELESSNESS, STARVATION , DISEASES AND DEATH. JORDAN IS NOT ALONE IN THIS CRAZY WORLD WITH " NIMBY ' MENTALITY.

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