One-year old girl had to die, because her doctor was fired

Mrs Minister, are you are going to answer for this crime?

Few days ago, the only transplatology surgeon in Russia who iscapable of making unique kidney transplantation operations for infant babies, Mr Mikhail Kaabak was fired from his position in National Center for children healthcare (NCCH). Those officials who fired him, never cared enough about the consequences – without operations kids with damaged kidneys may die very soon. When doctor left his office, all transplantations stopped. And here is the first victim of their decision – one year old girl, Nastya Orlova died today, after she was forced out from hospital after her doctor was fired.

Little girl waits for surgery

The reason behind the decision to fire such valuable specialist, according to media, was pressure from officials in the ministry, especially from chief transplantologist of Russian Federation, Mr Sergey Gotye. The problem was that Mr Kaabak along with his colleague, Mrs Nadezhda Babenko, were using method of operation that not approved by the Ministry of healthcare. Nevertheless, this method proved to be highly efficient. Babenko told

Because of the protocol we were following in our operations, number of kids with transplanted kidneys that survived for at least five year after the procedure had risen to 97%… We tried to point out the efficiency of this method to ministry officials, including Mr Gotye, yet, it seems there was something that prevented them to pay attention to this data.

Михаил Каабак и Надежда Бабенко
Mikhail Kaabak and Nadezhda Babenko

This method includes use of drug called alemtuzumab, that injected in “off-label” style, meaning not in accordance with instructions. Of course, it caused worries among the ministry’s officials, because they are more concerned with blind following to instructions, otherwise, should any concern arise, they may lose their positions. If some of their colleagues will send a denunciation to concerned authorities to get higher position in bureacratic hierarchy, for example.

One day, director of the center Mr Andrey Fisenko announced that doctors are forbidden from operating. Mr Kaabak stated

We were showing impressive results, but director said that he was pressured by the Ministry of Healthcare, especially from Mr Gotye, that stressed that it is inappropriate to use this drug. Indeed, director was put in a very difficult situation, I feel sorry for him, but I feel even more so for poor kids and their mothers.

Firing of doctors caused outrage among the patient’s families. They’ve immediately created a petition demanding return of the doctors back on duty. In turn, officials replied with generic statement, promising that all kids will receive their treatment “in full”.

Firing of doctors caused outrage among the patient’s families. They’ve immediately created a petition demanding return of the doctors back on duty. In turn, officials replied with generic statement, promising that all kids will receive their treatment “in full”.

This statement was given in 18 of November. About the week after Nastya Orlova died.

Kaabak supported the claims, that death of the girl is indirectly linked with his termination

“She was forced out of the hospital. If we were still on duty, she would be at intensive care now. Her death may be caused by heart problems. We have her ECG, where were clear signs of cardiomyopathy, she desperatly needed intensive hemodialysis, she should be placed in intencive care, for sure.”

Minister of healthcare Mrs Veronika Skvortsova
Minister of healthcare Mrs Veronika Skvortsova

The catastrophic state of child transplatology in our country was perfectly described by director of Center for Kidney transplantation Alexey Valov. Each year number of child transplantation operations is falling – in 2017 there were 102 cases, in 2018 – 80, this year – only 60. Feuds inside various ministry departments and facilities lead to concentration of organ procurement in ГБУЗ МО МОНИКИ, which capabilities are seriously overstreched. It means that only 5 or 7% of all organs are used in operations, while others are decaying. According to Mr Valov, about 1.5 thousand of kids are desperatly need operations every year, and right now they are simply dying.

…If such patient is not receiving medical assistance in 10-15 days, he simply dies. If he gets into the special clinic in regional center, there is a possibility of receiving proper treatment, yet there is no guarantee of survival, but there is a chance. If child will not get there, he will die for sure. It is easier to bury such child than to support him with costly permanent treatment. There is no funding for this in our country”

In 26th of November, Minister of healthcare Mrs Veronica Skvortsova ordered to reinstate the doctors back on duty. But it will not bring Nastya or other kids back… In Russian Criminal Code there is an article 124 “Neglect of person under care”.

Who will be held responsible for their deaths?

From editors.  “Capitalism kills” – a common frase among left activists. Sometimes it seems abstract. But here, dear reader, you can witness a very particular situation, where capitalism literally killed a child. Bureacracy rules and funding outweighted value of human life. In contrast, let’s take a look at how similar problems were solved under socialism.

In 1983, three year old Lithuanian girl Rasita Prascevichute fell under lawn mower that cut her feets off. Directorate of local collective farm immideatly contacted with Moscow. Almost instanly Tu-134 airplane was sent in Lithuanian SSR, while air traffic control services created air corridor to save time in flight. After 12 hours girl received treatmen from best specialist in Soviet Union. After 9 hours of operation, her feet were stiched together, blood flow was restored, her legs were saved.

"Ogoniek" magazine, № 40 (1983),
Happy Raza will walk again

For all of this, including emergency flight, not a copper was taken from the girl’s family.