Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Croatian Medical Law Association Comments on Čavajda Case

ZAGREB, 11 May 2022 - In a comment on the case of Mirela Čavajda, the Croatian Medical Law Association says that the institution of conscientious objection is being maligned and imposed as the only obstacle to solving the problem, underlining the need for responsible conduct by all stakeholders.

Čavajda is a 39-year-old who has requested a pregnancy termination because the fetus has been diagnosed with massive brain cancer six months into her pregnancy. She recently told the Index web portal that all hospitals in Zagreb she contacted had refused to do a termination of pregnancy despite the fact that doctors told her that the tumour was so big the child most likely would not live long, and even if it did, it would never have a normal life.

Her complaint against the hospitals' decision is to be discussed by a second-instance commission at the KBC Zagreb Hospital, whose expert commission, formed last week at the request of Health Minister Vili Beroš, was of the view that the child has a chance to live and that neurosurgical treatment is possible if the delivery goes well.

The Croatian Medical Law Association says that the right to conscientious objection applies also to doctors, as determined by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Resolution 1763 of 2010, which says that no legal or physical person shall be coerced, held liable or discriminated against in any manner because of a refusal to perform, accommodate, assist or submit to an abortion, the performance of a human miscarriage, or euthanasia or any act which could cause the death of a human foetus or embryo, for any reason.

The association says the importance of conscientious objection as a criterion for assessing the quality of a legal system is evidenced by International Conscientious Objection Day, observed on 15 May.

It considers as problematic attempts to devalue the institution of conscientious objection through social dilemmas surrounding abortion and similar topics that cause polarisation and calls for a joint approach by different scientific disciplines and professions as well as interest groups, in discussing it.

"Any public political, social or other moralising without clear medical and legal arguments is not acceptable and can only cause deep value, moral and ethical divisions in the already fairly polarised Croatian society", the association's president, Miran Cvitković, says.

For more, check out our politics and lifestyle sections.

Saturday, 5 September 2020

Anti-COVID Freedom Festival Begins In Zagreb

ZAGREB, Sept 5, 2020 - Hundreds of people rallied in Zagreb's main square at 5 p.m. on Saturday for the anti-COVID Freedom Festival protest in response to coronavirus prevention measures.

They carried banners which read "Take off the mask, turn off the TV, live life to the fullest", "COVID is a lie, we're not all covidiots", "Parents and children are inseparable", "Better the grave than to be a slave", "Free life is our power", "Normally, period" and "We believe in the strength we have".

The festival was organized by the Rights and Freedoms initiative. Participants arrived by bus from Dubrovnik, Split, Sibenik, Zadar, Rijeka, and Istria.

Since COVID-19 appeared, unprecedented measures which restrict fundamental rights and freedoms have been imposed, and our goal is to preserve the achievements of a democratic society in which one cannot tolerate decision making based on panic and propaganda or on copying instead of examining, the organizer said.

They insist on the preservation of human rights, freedoms, knowledge, solidarity, and mutual respect, and wish to say that health is psychical, physical, emotional, and mental, not just the corona level.

In the morning, participants organized events accompanied by music outside nursing homes, where they asked residents to open their windows and balconies to hear that they are not forgotten and to cheer them up with music and messages of encouragement.

Police say the rally has been announced

Zagreb police told Hina they were notified that a public rally called the Freedom Festival would be held and that they would see to it that it proceeded safely.

Assistant Interior Minister Damir Trut said on Friday the protest's organizers committed to adhering to all epidemiological measures stipulated by the Croatian Institute of Public Health.

The medical association says the festival is deception and demagoguery

The Croatian Medical Law Association (HUZMP) said on Friday it was appalled by the announcement of the Freedom Festival because, according to a press release, it was a protest against individual and societal health organized under the slogan of freedom and that this meant it was about deception and demagoguery.

"At a time when the world is facing the highest ever numbers of coronavirus cases and dead when hospitals in Croatia are quickly filling up with everyday hospitalizations of new patients, the HUZMP is appalled by the announcement of a so-called freedom festival," the press release said.

What freedom of speech are we talking about and who will cultivate it if there is no general safety and health, and who will enjoy freedoms if the processes and institutes of medical science, prevention, and treatment are being belittled, the HUZMP asked.

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