Expert: about forcing women to sterilization and abortion, we learn constantly


“The practice of involuntary abortion and sterilization of women widespread in Russian psycho-neurological boarding schools, from time to time we receive information about it”, — told the portal Miloserdie Anna Udyarova, a lawyer of the St. Petersburg charitable organization “Perspectives” where they help people with severe disabilities. According to experts, in some cases, the woman, for example, after an abortion, may not know that she also had an operation making it impossible to be a mother.

— Are there cases when sterilization really necessary?

— In my opinion, this could be done only at the conscious desire of women. Speaking about the decision, if it is not capable, not – here there are many possibilities for abuse.

— If the person has the status of an incapacitated, his opinion is not taken into account in such matters – the resolution should give the court at the request of the guardian?

— In any case. If a woman can Express their opinion, if she is able to formulate, that its decision must be guided. The guardian can go to court – in that case, if a woman its state is not capable to Express their will. But the court is obliged to call itself an incapacitated woman to find out her opinion and all the details, if it is only able to inform.

The problem here may be related to who and how will determine whether incapacitated to Express their will on this issue.

— What you need to do to avoid abuse in this area?

— General measure – strengthening of control over execution of the duties of Trustees, including hospitals. They are associated with major problems because guardianship usually does not actually control the rights of disabled people in institutions. Therefore, there are situations when it is not the opinion incapacitated.

Any person who becomes aware of a violation of the rights of the incapacitated, may apply to the guardianship and guardianship with the request to check these data. Although, our experience of such appeals shows that they are generally suitable for such formal requests, and protect the interests of incapacitated.

— Incapacitated can apply to the guardianship complaint?

— Of course. And it must be considered, and to conduct an audit.

Another measure that could help the adoption of the bill on joint custody, which now lies in the Duma. It is just intended in order to avoid a situation where the sole Trustee is incapacitated, the orphanage where he lives. If a person in a boarding school would be an external Trustee, or two Trustees, there will be more opportunities to control the actions of the school. Let’s hope that this law will finally be adopted.

Other document, which is still being prepared – a draft law on the protection of the rights of people living in inpatient psychiatric institutions, hospitals and STUMPS. Commissioners of such services might provide additional control.

— What to do if a person in such a situation, now, until the necessary changes have not yet been adopted?

— If a woman is threatened by this situation, she needs to try to find help outside school. Find friends, lawyers, whom she trusts to turn to public organizations. Need to about the situation became known outside the institution. You can contact the guardianship and curatorship, if the person is able to make a statement – but this someone helped. There are other possibilities: for example, in St. Petersburg there is a hot line of Committee on public health, there accept complaints related to the provision of medical care.

— It is known that women in the STUMPS was forced to have an abortion, helped and parishes?

— Of course, if there is such a possibility, it is possible to use it in this case. Generally, you need to look for external support, those who will help, assists in the preparation of the application, give the case publicity will attract the attention of the public. But, unfortunately, not always have people in boarding schools have the opportunity to go somewhere.

— Forced sterilization of persons with disabilities internationally condemned as discrimination. Is there any hope of bringing the Russian practice with international standards?

— The fact that, formally, this action is voluntary. But in practice, and incompetent, and capable women in the STUMPS can often be forced to sign a consent for medical intervention. Constantly hear about when they are under pressure to agree to sterilization or abortion. Such consent is not actually voluntary, since the person depends entirely on the orphanage, and is forced to do what he says.

I think effective would be greater control over what is happening in the STUMPS. In principle, the law contains provisions that are necessary in order to avoid medical intervention against the will of the patient. If it is supplemented by laws which we have discussed above, it should help to improve the situation. A comprehensive approach is needed – a change not only of legislation but also of practice, and the creation of additional control mechanisms.

November 16, 2017, it became known that in Ufa began the trial of the head of the gynecology Department of one of city hospitals. Doctor accused of illegal conduct over the girl with a psychiatric diagnosis at the request of her legal guardian the surgery, deprived the victim of the ability to have children. The medic is accused of criminal negligence, recklessly causing serious harm to human health.

Doctor on trial for the illegal sterilization of incapacitated