Hearing at Europe’s human rights court into Roma woman’s sterilisation
The individual in question was addressed as ‘V.C’ and is around 30 years old. She claims that in 2000 at the Presov hospital, she was sterilised via tubal ligation following the birth of her second child.
In her allegation, she describes how staff at the hospital said that having anymore children would result in her or the baby’s death. They offered the option of sterilisation in response to this but according to the court, the woman was unclear about what this actually was, signing a consent from agreeing to the procedure in a state of fear and confusion.
She says that the fact that she was Roma was a key factor as to why she was sterilised. Furthermore, there are claims in the complainant’s statement that she was located in a ‘Gypsy room’ and not permitted to use the bathrooms and toilets that non-Roma used.
Hospital managers have said that the sterilisation was necessary due to a rupture of the woman’s uterus. They also refute the assertion about Roma and non-Roma patients being separated from each other.
The investigation in Slovakia did not find any hospital staff members guilty. As to whether this will be repeated is yet to be known, for a verdict from Tuesday’s hearing will not be decided until several weeks. If either side chooses to appeal the decision though, then the case could be sent to the court’s Grand Chamber.
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