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Damages for heavy sedation in detention

Translation is available for this content

Váltás magyarra

The HHC’s client was transferred two times to the Judicial and Observation Psychiatric Institute (IMEI) while being in pre-trial detention, since in the respective penitentiary institution’s view he was dangerous to himself. In the IMEI, he was not examined properly, but was instantly provided with a large amount of extremely strong, out-of-date anti-psychotic medicines instead, thus was heavily sedated. The case was also examined by the Ombudsman, who concluded that the medication resulted that the HHC's client was practically unable to move and side-effects similar to the symptoms of Parkinson disease emerged. With the help of the HHC’s attorney at law, he submitted a claim for damages against the IMEI. An expert opinion submitted in the course of the court proceedings stated that the inadequate medication had a permanent negative effect on the his state. Furthermore, the doctor of the IMEI basically admitted in the course of the court hearing that their main aim was to “calm him down” instead of curing him. (It should be noted that on the basis of the court procedure, sedating seems to be a common practice in the IMEI.) In June 2012, the Metropolitan Tribunal ruled in favor of the HHC’s client and obliged the IMEI to pay 5 million HUF as damages. The court stated that even though the IMEI is part of the penitentiary system, it is still a medical institution, thus it is obliged to provide proper medical treatment, and is not allowed to sedate “problematic” detainees.

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Hungarian Helsinki Committee