The management of Paramount Hospital is being accused of detaining a dead body of a Covid-19 patient Tereza Namugenyi who was allegedly discontinued from oxygen for three days on grounds that she was not critically ill.
The lawyer of the aggrieved family Joseph Luzige has since written to the hospital to release the body or face legal redress.
“To our clients’ surprise, you have informed them that the body has now disappeared from the Hospital Mortuary which is to say. the least. the highest form of further professional negligence on your part. We therefore demand that you release the body of our clients’ mother to us immediately, failure of which we are going to file a case against you in the Civil Division of the High Court to recover the same at your own peril, embarrassment and cost.”
When contacted for a comment, an administrator whose number appears on the hospital’s website said that he had no facts and has not seen the letter.
“I have heard about the letter but I have not seen it so I don’t have facts,” he told this website before ending our call.
Below is the full letter of lawyer Luzige
TO THE MANAGEMENT PARAMOUNT HOSPITAL
RE: NOTICE OF INTENTION TO SUE OVER DETAINING THE DEAD BODY/ CADAVER OF NAMUGENYI TEREZA
The above subject refers:
We act for and on behalf of Mr. Tamale Tofa and Namata Regina herein referred to as our clients on whose instructions we address you as hereunder;
That our clients brought their mother and sister respectively to your Hospital for Medicare After a period of time, your Hospital discontinued her from oxygen in favour of an Asian patient, who according to you was more “critically ill” than our clients’ mother.
Which grossly amounted to professional negligence and abdication of the hippocratic oath.
After 3 (three) days off oxygen, our clients’ mother died and you demanded for 31.000.000/= (Thirty one Million Shillings) to be paid by our clients before releasing the body of our clients’ mother which amount can not be paid by our indigent clients or relatives of the deceased and you still hold the body to date.
The figure is so exorbitant and with utmost respect to your Hospital the said action is equally repugnant to Public Policy as you are using our Clients’ mother’s dead body/cadaver as an object in the game of Commercial ping pong.
Dead bodies are for interment or cremation or other disposal without delay.
Your concern is on the debt for medical services solicited for by relatives who are still alive and not the deceased and there are a plethora of legal ways for binding such relatives to pay the debt owed The dead body of the deceased ought not to be part of that equation as there is no property in a dead body, it cannot be offered or held as security for payment of a debt.
To our clients’ surprise, you have informed them that the body has now disappeared from the Hospital Mortuary which is to say the least the highest form of further professional negligence on your part.
We therefore demand that you release the body of our clients’ mother to us immediately, failure of which we are going to file a case against you in the Civil Division of the High Court to recover the same at your own peril, embarrassment and cost.
We expect to hear from you by the 3rd day of July 2021 failure of which Court’s intervention will be sought as stated above.