Region | Palestinian Territories

Man to sue health ministry over son’s death

Boy was restrained and choked on his own vomit, says father

  • By Nasouh Nazzal Correspondent
  • Published: 13:14 September 12, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit:
  • Pictures of Yousef holding a picture of his son Mohammad pictures for Yousef Tawfiq Yassin who accused the Palestinian Ministry of Health with killing his elder son Mohammad who was tied to a public hopstial bed. Yousef is determined to sue the Palestinian Health Ministry with international courts. PHOTO COURTSEY : Nasouh Nazzal.

Ramallah: A Palestinian father has accused the Palestinian Ministry of Health of the murder of his son, vowing “I will avenge the crime through legal channels.”

Yousef Tawqif Yassin, from the village of Hablah, north of the West Bank, is claiming that Mohammad, 15, was killed by the actions of staff at a public hospital.

His son suffered from partial epilepsy and had epileptic attacks once or twice a year. Normally, Mohammad was treated by a specialist in Ramallah but at the time of the most recent attacks, he was admitted to a public hospital.

“The doctors in the public hospital tied Mohammad to the bed and some liquids that came out of his mouth while sleeping suffocated him and caused him a brain haemorrhage,” the father said.

The Ministry of Health claimed that Mohammad posed a threat to himself and needed to be tied to the bed.

“The treating doctors never monitored Mohammad while he was tied to the bed which caused his health to deteriorate,” Yousef Tawqif Yassin said in an interview with Gulf News.

“The doctors could have untied him after giving him all the necessary medications after he had gone to sleep,” he said, stressing that the doctors did not even look at the way Mohammad slept even though they knew that sleeping on his back could have been fatal for the young man.

The family claims the doctors did not act properly to save his life.

The father said that the medical report issued after Mohammad’s death stated that he suffered suffocation which caused his brain to haemorrhage.

Following Mohammad’s death, his father lodged a complaint with the office of the Palestinian President Mohmoud Abbas, another complaint with the Ministry of Health, and other complaints with Palestinian Human rights and child organisations.

“Many ministry officials have repeatedly told me that my son Mohammad was killed at the public hospital, but they claimed to be unable to do anything about the case,” he said. “The ministry officials clearly told me that they cannot indict any of their doctors.”

“I have lost all hope to see justice served in Palestine. Now I want to test the international justice system,” he said.

“The crime committed against my son is fully documented and I have all the necessary proofs to show that Mohammad was killed.”

The Palestinian Ministry of Health is currently refusing to provide the father with his son’s medical file. “The ministry is fully aware that the file will be used in a court case against its officials,” Yousef said.

“I stand in urgent need for international help to sue the ministry. I need international organisations to adopt the case of my son and direct me to the right way to get his murderers brought to justice,” he said.

“The ministry has killed my son and I will never give up his blood. This is a fact. I am dedicating my entire life for this cause,” he said. “I will knock on all the doors in the world.”

Yousef, who supports a wife, two sons and seven daughters, also warned that if he was not able to avenge his son through legal channels, he would avenge the crime with his own hands.

He said that ministry officials did not attend a condolence session for Mohammad after his death.

Gulf News approached the ministry to comment on the case, but officials declined the request.

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