February 4

Child Abuse in Russia’s Health & Welfare Institutions_AP

When adults lose their moral compass–helpless children are victimized.

In post-Soviet Russia, capitalism does not seem to have ushered in respect for human beings.
Babies in hosptials and orphanages are at especially high risk of abuse by caretakers.

Various news reports about Infants’ mouths taped shut to keep them from
crying….children injected to “calm” them…..pacifyers taped to infants’ mouths…

Of note, in the case of injecting children to calm them–
the outrage seems to be focused only on the lack of credentials by the
worker who injected the children–

What about a probe into the essential medical ethics issues:
What, if any, medical condition do the children have to warrant injectable drugs?
What drugs are being used ?
Is it moral–for anyone– to inject children with powerful chemicals as a form of discipline?

These questions apply equally to U.S. health and welfare institutions as they do to Russia.

Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav

Associated Press
Baby abuse alleged at Russian hospital
By MIKE ECKEL, Feb 1, 2007

Prosecutors said Thursday they are investigating allegations that workers at
a central Russian hospital taped infants’ mouths shut to keep them from
crying, in a scandal that has sparked widespread outrage.

In a second incident, prosecutors in the Far Eastern city of
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk said they had opened a criminal probe at a kindergarten
where an employee gave unauthorized injection to children to help them
sleep. According to some news accounts, all or some of the babies were

The alleged mouth-taping at Hospital No. 15 in the Ural Mountains city of
Yekaterinburg, about 900 miles east of Moscow, has received wide coverage in
the Russian media.

According to a statement posted on the prosecutor general’s Web site,
investigators found that hospital workers allegedly used tape or adhesive
bandages to shut the mouths of infants on several occasions to quiet them.

Regional prosecutors were conducting a criminal probe into whether hospital
workers could be charged with dereliction of duty or child abuse, the
statement said. It was unclear when or if charges would be filed.

Earlier this week, Russian TV broadcast video reportedly taken with a cell
phone that showed a crib with sleeping baby who appeared to have a pacifier
taped to its mouth.

The Interfax news agency on Tuesday reported that Yekaterinburg city health
officials had reprimanded the hospital’s chief doctor and its chief nurse.

Russia’s health and welfare institutions – including hospitals and
orphanages – fell into disrepair after the Soviet collapse as government
funding dried up. Though government revenues have risen with world oil
prices, many welfare institutions remain woefully neglected, as often as not
victims of corrupt officials, and employees are often paid miserly wages.

In Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, on the Pacific island of Sakhalin, regional prosecutor
Tatyana Kutuzova said that investigators had opened a criminal probe into
whether a worker injected children to calm them down or to help them sleep.

She told the NTV television network that the worker lacked the necessary
training and qualifications and should not have been working in the

Lyubov Kuritsina, a regional education official, said the worker had been

In another recent incident that caused widespread shock, an infant in
southern Russia had to have her arm amputated after an injection for a
routine illness caused a blood infection.

Copyright C 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This may contain copyrighted (C ) material the use of which
has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such
material is made available for educational purposes, to advance
understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and
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