Under the new rules, the medical institution appoints itself as the custodian of the deceased's hereditary property.
The stories of the victims are shocking in their cruel absurdity.
Muscovites told their stories about the difficulties with which they managed to get the personal belongings of relatives who died from the coronavirus. And some did not succeed at all.
“It turns out that they could have given it to us, but not given it. So the hospital itself has come up with a law not to give and keep? It is very convenient ... you store, store and then transfer to home storage".
Muscovite Irina Demakina was the first of the victims to tell Novye Izvestia about her struggle with Kommunarka for the posthumous inheritance of her father, Yuri Petrovich Gushchin. (See: “Why does Kommunarka not give the belongings of those who died from covid to relatives” , “Novye Izvestia”, November 18, 2020). Let us recall her history and the part of the journey that Novye Izvestia traveled together with Irina, figuring out what these rules are that exacerbate social tension and create “favorable” opportunities for abuse in the now flammable sphere of medicine.
Irina's seventy-year-old father, Yuri Gushchin, was admitted to GKB 40 Kommunarka on October 7, 2020. They took me away by ambulance. He summoned her, got ready on his own and, judging by the telephone conversation with his daughter, was not going to stay in the hospital for a long time. Father lived separately, in his apartment, according to Irina, was a very energetic and literate person - from the beginning of the epidemic I was very careful - a mask was required, no public transport, everywhere, even to the store in his car. He became infected, as the family suspects, in a cardiological hospital, where he was given a stent in the spring. In the autumn they ordered me to come for an examination, he came. And there, next to cardiology, there was already a covid department - general medical staff, general ventilation ... A week after discharge, I fell ill, and now - Kommunarka. The condition was serious. Despite all the measures taken, on October 16, Yuri Petroich Gushchin died.
“After the funeral, I turned to Kommunarka with a request to return my father’s personal belongings, which were with him at the time of admission to the hospital,” Irina said. - I was given a photocopy of the receipt of f.5-MZ in the morgue. At that moment, there was no time to consider it, a few days later I discovered that it was just a piece of paper without a date, signatures of the responsible persons, and the very form of the receipt f.5-MZ was approved long ago by the Order of the Ministry of Health of the USSR of 10/17/1986 g. N1374. But at least from this “document” I learned that my father had a large sum of money with him (5000 x 15, as it is written), a mobile phone with a charger, bank cards, documents for a car - that is, what was in the purse, and a cross with a signet, which he always wore on himself. I came to pick up what was contained in the inventory, my father's cross was especially important, he never parted with it all his life. They did not give my things, referring to the internal order for the hospital of the GBUZ "GKB 40 DZM" dated 08.04.2020 N 165 / 40-20p, according to which I must first enter into an inheritance. I.e, I will receive everything described only after 6 months. This angered me. They have no right to keep the belongings of the deceased, and no one gave them such an assignment.
Irina Demakina's notary also did not understand the actions of the hospital staff. Based on the photocopy, which was presented in the morgue, it is impossible to include these things and values in the certificate of inheritance without the conclusion of the appraiser. The notary made a request to provide a legally executed inventory of things and valuables, as well as a request to admit Demakina, accompanied by a qualified appraiser, to assess the property of the testator. A refusal came from the hospital lawyers.
“I communicated with the employees of the Kommunarka legal service myself - I called and wrote a statement”, - says Irina. - The lawyers referred to regulations, according to which their hospital is responsible for the safety of the personal belongings of a patient who is being treated in a medical institution until his discharge. But my father is not being treated, he has already died and no one authorized Kommunarka to provide storage of his things. The hospital's lawyers did not answer what legal grounds they have to keep the property of the deceased. Then I received a letter signed by the chief doctor of Kommunarka, Mr. Protsenko. He refers to the articles of the Civil Code, which says who inherits, how and what. And here is the hospital, it is not clear. She should deal with the treatment, not with the interpretation of the GC. At the very end, Mr. Protsenko advised me not to contact any more on this issue, as it had already been explained to me more than once.
After unsuccessful attempts to deal with Kommunarka, Irina Demakina wrote letters to deputies of the Moscow City Duma and State Duma, to the Moscow Health Department, and the prosecutor's office. On the website of the prosecutor's office, the application is registered under No. VO-24093-20-2040001 dated 02.11.2020, there is no answer. Nothing concrete, except for streamlined wording "taken into account, we will figure it out" and did not receive at a personal reception in the prosecutor's office in Moscow. Official inquiries from Novye Izvestia suffered the same fate - the addressees forwarded them to each other, notifying the editorial board that the property issues of the deceased were "beyond their competence." With the help of the Russian Bar Association, it was possible to find out which agency was the most "competent" in terms of crossing the civil code with the morgue.
- The procedure for transferring the belongings of the deceased to relatives was previously described in detail in the Order of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation of 1996 No. 407, - said the chairman of the association Maria Arkhipova (Bast) to Novye Izvestia. - At present, this order has lost its force, and now each health care institution operates within the framework of civil legislation in terms of inheritance law. In fact, this led to the fact that each hospital, at its own discretion, determines the procedure for issuing things and valuables of the deceased to relatives. Somewhere it is enough to present a document confirming family ties, somewhere they are guided by the "Sectoral Features of Budget Accounting in the Healthcare System of the Russian Federation", approved by the Ministry of Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation.
They indicate that "In the event of the patient's death, the delivery of things, money, monetary documents and valuables that belonged to him is carried out in the prescribed manner" - i.e. according to civil law in terms of inheritance law and the procedure determined by the hospital itself. With such general wording, the requirements of the head of City Clinical Hospital No. 40 can be considered legitimate, as well as references to an internal order, and the heirs have no choice but to obey and inherit, including in order to return the deceased's slippers to the family. Of course, the lack of uniform requirements complicates the life of doctors, patients, and relatives of the deceased. A clear and legally competent order of the Ministry of Health is needed, which would describe the entire procedure for receiving, storing and issuing things. This would remove all questions of relatives to the medical institution, would eliminate suspicions of fraud and lawsuits, which are based on administrative confusion and elementary legal illiteracy of the chief doctors.
After the explanations of the lawyers, it became at least clear that the fraud to the relatives came from the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation. But the department, despite the uproar in the press, was in no hurry to change the order and to transfer the relationship of hospitals with the property of deceased patients into a legal channel.
Meanwhile, after publications in Novye Izvestia, not only in social networks, but also on the websites of hospitals, numerous responses began to appear like this:
Copricorn: Hospital Chief Physician, Health Committee and Prosecutor's Office! Why did the hospital appoint itself as the custodian of the estate? Maybe something new in the legislation? This is also very interesting to me. Especially when you read a message that a woman who was there for a week on treatment and died, was not given the jacket in which she entered. They just “couldn't find”.
Blondino4ka111: “Hello. We also had a great grief, our beloved grandmother died in a communal apartment. It happened on January 4. I have been in the hospital since December 9, that is, for almost a month. We called the hospital every day, hung on the line for 20-30 minutes, then they switched us on, as a result, the connection took about an hour. We were not given any reliable information, the data was constantly diverging. They refuse to give personal belongings, they asked for an inventory of things - only promises. Our grandmother was a very respected and valuable person for our country. As a result, no one even wanted to posthumously express their respect for her and sympathy for the family.
The statement of Maria Olegovna Yegorova migrated from the hospital's website to Facebook, which the administrators either overlooked or did not have time to clean up:
"Good evening! Please note that the belongings of deceased (and possibly being treated) patients can be accessed and used, for example, cell phones and bank cards that are quarantined in the locker. The fact was recorded today by the relatives of the deceased patients".
From the comments to the text, a whole Appeal to the head physician of the hospital in Kommunarka with three hundred signatures was compiled. Denis Protsenko was careful not to send signatories to the Civil Code, as he recently sent to Irina Demakina. And quite amicably he said that he was preparing a post on this topic together with lawyers, "however, within the framework of the laws, nothing can depend on the position of one leader".
It turns out that it can!
“After your article and discussion on Facebook, the hospital contacted me,” Irina Demakina said to the editorial office. - Again they demanded some kind of statement from me. I wrote, sent it by registered mail. Then, at their request, I had to redo the documents at the notary - a certificate of opening an inheritance case. While waiting for an answer, I changed my mind a lot. Not all relatives will inherit, someone does not need it, someone simply will not be able to come for family heirlooms or does not want to relive humiliation again, proving kinship with grandmother and his right to her old glasses. And the inventory is not given to everyone, it turns out... What will happen to the "unclaimed" property in six months is anyone's guess.
At the end of December, Irina Demakina received an invitation from Kommunarka to pick up her father's things. “After all, I finished them off! - she told "NO", and it seemed to us that this meant not only the employees of the hospital No. 40, who are at war with the relatives of the deceased patients because of another's inheritance, but also the officials of the Ministry of Health, by whose grace human grief and administrative zeal collided with their heads ... Let's not be mistaken ... Demakina's hike behind her father's things explains a lot. Including the fact that legal turmoil and confusion are fertile ground for feeders at the expense of the deceased.
- At first they only took out a bag of things, '' she says. - Then I asked where the values that are in the inventory. The girl left and returned an hour and a half later. Only without charging for the phone (it was in the inventory) and the numbers of the banknotes did not coincide with those that were rewritten . Apparently, someone borrowed money from my dad, and they were collected by the whole warehouse when I was already here. She offered me her own exercise, I refused. Whether operations were carried out with bank cards at a time when my father was no longer alive, I will find out when I inherit. Of course, he kept the pin codes in the same place as the cards...
For the sake of completeness - the testimony of our source in one of the infectious diseases hospitals in Moscow: “To keep the belongings of the deceased in the“ established order ”is utter folly. Yesterday all evening we discussed this with colleagues - was it worth it to destroy the old order and turn hospitals into a kind of pawnshops and fur storages? We even have to store the pills of the dead and glucometers, there are 100 pieces, not to mention the things. It all takes up space. Is it wild to keep the sick in the corridors, and to clog the vacant premises with bags of other people's property?"
No, not savagery, rather, an exclusive from "hospital pawnshops". After the lawsuits of relatives to a number hospitals for improper storage and loss of belongings of the deceased, chief doctors were ordered to provide warehouses around the clock security. It remains to wait until the cloakroom attendants will be given pot-guns.
From the editor
The scandalous situation with the belongings of the deceased, which has arisen due to the interpretation of legal subtleties, does not detract from doctors' merits and medical staff of hospitals, who, at the risk of their lives and health, save thousands and thousands of people from a terrible scourge. "Thank you, doctors!" - we say and very much hope that the bureaucracy will solve the problems described above.