But it turns out that this is not at all the case.
Covid does not take human losses into account. But this is not yet the whole truth that accompanies the tragedy. Quite often the hospitals do not give out the last memory of him to the relatives of the deceased - the shirt in which he left home, the ring that did not take off his finger from the wedding, the phone with the contacts of friends... People spend months on the doorstep, having no idea where, how and why all this stored. They torment themselves with suspicions that things dear to their hearts have been lost or thrown away as contagious. Novye Izvestia tried to understand what was behind this.
Muscovite Irina Demakina told Novye Izvestia about her struggle with Kommunarka for the posthumous inheritance of her father, Yuri Petrovich Gushchin.
- My dad entered GKB 40 Kommunarka on October 7, 2020. They took me away by ambulance. I called it myself when I heard on the phone that he was suffocating after every word. The father was very careful - the mask was mandatory, no public transport, everywhere, even to the store in his car. He got infected, as we suspect, in the hospital, where a stent was placed in him 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, dad died. The day before that, we were still talking on the phone, passed out in intensive care - and that was all.
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. I was given a photocopy of the receipt of Form 5-MZ in the morgue. At that moment, there was no time to consider it, a few days later I discovered that my father had a large amount 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. The things in which he was admitted to the hospital are not described. By the way, this f.5-MZ was approved by the Order of the Ministry of Health of the USSR of 17.10.1986 N1374. As far as I know, this order has lost its force.
I explain the abundance of expensive things with him in the hospital by the fact that he lived separately from us, alone. When the ambulance arrived, there was a stranger in the apartment. My father said that she immediately left, but he was afraid to leave valuable things at home, and took it with him. By the way, it is unknown when the inventory was drawn up - before or after death, instead of signatures of officials there are illegible squiggles, there is no father's signature at all, and what he actually had with him is a big question. I came to pick up what was contained in the inventory, my father's cross was especially important. Received a refusal... Through the window showed some kind of internal order on the hospital that I will receive everything described only 6 months after the inheritance. This angered me. They have no right to keep the belongings of the deceased, and no one gave them such an assignment.
My notary also does not understand why the hospital staff acts this way. Based on the inventory that was provided to me in the morgue (photocopies), the notary cannot 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 allow me, accompanied by a qualified appraiser, to assess the property of the testator.
I am my father's only daughter and his only heir. And not so dense as not to read paragraph 4 of Art. 1152 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation - the accepted inheritance is recognized as belonging to the heir from the date of opening the inheritance, regardless of the time of its actual acceptance, as well as regardless of the moment of state registration of the heir's right to inherited property, when such a right is subject to state registration. A certificate of opening an inheritance case with a notary in the hospital was provided. I talked to the employees of the legal service of Kommunarka - I called and wrote a statement. Lawyers refer to regulations, according to which their hospital is responsible for the safety of the personal belongings of a patient being treated in a medical institution until his discharge. My father is not being treated, no one authorized Kommunarka to ensure the storage of my deceased father's belongings. The lawyers did not answer what legal grounds they have to keep the property of the deceased.
But I received a letter signed by the chief physician of Kommunarka, Mr. Protsenko. He refers to the articles of the Civil Code, which says who, how, what inherits. And here is the hospital, it is not clear. At the very end, Mr. Protsenko recommends that I do not contact any more on this issue, since it has already been explained to me more than once.
After unsuccessful attempts to deal with Kommunarka, I wrote letters to the Moscow Health Department, the Prosecutor's Office, the Moscow City Duma and the State Duma deputies. I believe that the actions of the GKB 40 employees are arbitrary and arbitrary. For what purpose this is done, one can only guess. I am waiting for answers from the above instances and I will go to court. I am sure that there are many like me, or rather, almost everyone who lost their relatives in this hospital.
Maria Arkhipova (Bast), Chairperson of the Russian Bar Association for Human Rights:
- 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, now this order has lost its force, and now every healthcare 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 his relatives. For example, in the city of Sestroretsk, according to the internal rules published on the hospital's website, it is enough to present a document confirming family ties, the same form of issue is described on the hospital's website for infectious diseases hospital No. 2. At the same time, the Sectoral Peculiarities of Budget Accounting in the Healthcare System of the Russian Federation, approved by the Ministry of Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation, states that "In the event of a patient's death, the delivery of things, money, monetary documents and valuables that belonged to him is carried out in accordance with the established procedure." according to civil law in terms of inheritance law and the procedure determined by the hospital itself. In this state of affairs, the requirements of the head of City Clinical Hospital No. 40 are legal, as well as a link to an internal order, and in this case the heiress should prepare the required documents in order to receive the deceased's belongings and carry out their assessment and further actions to include values and things in the inheritance case.
Of course, the lack of uniform requirements complicates the life of doctors, patients, and relatives of the dead. A similar order of the Ministry of Health is needed, which would describe the entire procedure for receiving, storing and issuing things, and would contain clear instructions, and not general wording. This would remove all questions, and doctors would have something to appeal in controversial cases, as well as to relatives and heirs.
From the editorial
The Ministry of Health should hurry up with the preparation of an order regulating the relationship of medical institutions with the relatives of deceased patients. This is prompted by both a difficult epidemiological situation, an increase in mortality from covid, and the accompanying administrative confusion and elementary legal illiteracy of chief doctors. Today, this has led each hospital to appoint itself as custodian of the estate. Tomorrow there will be a bunch of lawsuits from the heirs because of the "inventories", where, for example, "a ring of yellow metal" appears. The heirs may be upset if six months later they are given a ring of yellow metal with the words: "What are you not happy with: this ring, and the metal is very yellow..." The order of the Ministry of Health is needed so as not to escalate social tension, which is already on the naked nerve, and block the opportunities for abuse in the most flammable sphere - the medical one.