DEMANDING COMPULSORY BLOOD DONATION from husbands of pregnant women seeking antenatal and maternity services, by Lagos State government owned-hospitals, has been banned by the judgement of Justice Raliat Adebiyi, of Ikeja High Court. Akin Abayomi, Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, said government will not be appeal the judgement.
Justice Raliat Adebiyi’s judgement, on Monday, described the practice, as “arbitrary, unfair and a violation of human rights enshrined in Section 38(1) of the 1999 Constitution”. Government hospitals were, accordingly, ordered to stop demanding compulsory blood donations from husbands of pregnant women seeking antenatal and maternity services.
“A policy that will deny citizens the right to medical care based on failure to donate blood is not only unconstitutional but unconscionable and adverse to the life and wellbeing of all citizens that access the respondents’ facilities.”
The health system is expected to provide equality of opportunity as guaranteed under Articles 2 (a), 3 and 12 (1) of the International Convention on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, she added.
Abayomi, while reacting to judgement, said the state government had banned compulsory blood donations in all its hospitals before the court judgment. But warned that expectant mothers, accident victims and other persons that may need blood transfusion in course of treatment, may experience acute blood shortage, as a result of the judgement.
Fundamental Human Rights suit, filed by Trustees of Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, led to the judgment. Blood donors are voluntary, and cannot be made compulsory.