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Prisoner Died Because of Incorrect Medical Treatment


Maka Malakmadze, Adjara

Irakli, Giorgi and Nika look at the photo of their father to remember his face; the father Kakhaber Bezhanidze died in prison on September 26, 2009. According to the diagnosis, he died of ulcer on stomach and duodenum and of acute sepsis. The council of the professional development within the State Regulation Agency of the Medical Activities sanctified the doctors who treated Bezhanidze. However, the sanction is only a suspension of the doctor’s license for 4 months. The widow of the dead prisoner Marina Turmanidze states her husband died of the incorrect treatment and is about to request a compensation from the state.

36-year-old Kakhaber Bezhanidze was a driver. He was detained in 2006 for drug-addiction and was sentenced to 7-year-imprisonment. He had three under-age children, a wife and sick parents. After the only bread-winner of the family was imprisoned, Marina Turmanidze had to leave their elder children – Irakli and Giorgi in the orphanage.

Marina Turmanidze said her husband never complained about health problems before the imprisonment or in Batumi prison # 3. Three years after imprisonment, he started to complain about health.

“I used to request the doctors of the prison to take proper care of him. They used to assure me that his health conditions were not alarming. A week before the death, a prisoner called me from the prison and told me my husband might die in two days. I called the minister of the penitentiary immediately. The that time minister Dimitry Shashkin called me back soon and said Kakha was taken to Ghudushauri Medical Clinic on the previous night because his conditions were really serious,” recalled the widow.

Marina Turmanidze also said that initially a tumor was removed from Kakha Bezhanidze’s and his health problems started since then. “Since then many organs started aching. He was twice operated on the stomach. After the death the hospital administration did not give us his personal items. We were told at the Ghudushauri medical clinic that he was brought to the hospital naked. The administration of the Gldani prison told us the prisoner had everything with him in hospital. They should have given us his torn cloths, icons and photos of our children he had in prison.”

Prisoner Kakhaber Bezhanidze died on September 26, 2009. The council of the professional development within the State Regulation Agency of the Medical Activities discussed the case on August 6, 2010 and concluded that 5 doctors had their license suspended for various periods of time (some of them for four months and others for one month); 13 doctors received warning in written form.

According to the expertise analyze on the medical treatment of Kakhaber Bezhanidze the doctors made mistakes in every stage of the treatment.

The expertise analyze does not agree with the decision to take the sick person from Ghudushauri Medical Clinic to the jail hospital before the death. “A seriously sick patient can be transported from one to another hospital if there are not corresponding treatment conditions in the first one. In this particular case, the situation was vice versa – they took the patient from the high-quality clinic to a worse one.”

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