“The toilets had the obligation to sacrifice their right to life and integrity, even without masks, for the benefit of the life and integrity of the rest of the population.” It is the phrase of the head of the Social Court 2 of Jaén, José Antonio Lucini, exposed in a sentence after the lawsuit for violation of fundamental rights due to the lack of protection measures for nurses in this Andalusian province, who claimed to the It gathers more means to deal with the high hospital pressure during the first wave of covid-19. This unusual ruling has been appealed by the Nursing College of Jaén before the Superior Court of Justice of Andalusia (TSJA), as reported by the body this Thursday. “They want to turn us into martyrs”, lamented its president, José Francisco Lendínez.
The sentence recognizes the shortage of protective equipment for toilets during the first months of the pandemic. But, in the same way, it does not condemn the Administration for violating the fundamental rights of nurses by tacitly understanding that the lack of protective equipment for them was “irremediable”. Faced with the situation of having to choose between the life of citizens or working in dangerous conditions for the integrity of nurses, the right to life of citizens must be weighed and privileged.
The nurses have been even more surprised by the magistrate’s comparison to argue the ruling, which equates the sacrifice of the nurses with other cases such as the Grapo terrorists on hunger strike or the Jehovah’s Witnesses, “something that is not at all comparable ”, they assure from the College of Nursing. The judge’s ruling reads: “Regarding the sentence on the hunger strike of the prisoners of the Grapo, the Constitutional Court had to face the issue of the availability of life itself. In it, the two rights contemplated in article 15 of the Constitution confront each other: on the one hand, the right to life and, on the other, the right to physical and moral integrity, in its dimension of exclusion of any external intervention without consent in the body. or spirit of a person.
The lawyer for the toilets, Santiago López Poyatos, considers the example argued by the court “unfortunate”: “In these cases, several concurrent fundamental rights were weighed in the same person or subject, such as the right to be forcefully fed and against the will of a prisoner to avoid his death, or to give a blood transfusion to a Jehovah’s Witness against his religion to save his life and, therefore, it would be chosen to protect the life of the person over any other fundamental right that It would correspond to that same person.”
However, the lawyer censures that this sentence considers that during the pandemic “rights that concur in different people or subjects can be sacrificed; that is, that some are sacrificed, without providing them with the means, to save others, as occurred in ancient societies such as Egypt, or in pre-Columbian times”. And he adds: “This sacrifice would not be required in a modern society except in the event of a declaration of war, and not with a simple State of Alarm, which has even been partially declared unconstitutional.”
This same week the sentence has been made public by which the Ministry of Health of the Valencian Community must compensate between 5,000 and 49,180 euros to the medical professionals of Alicante who worked during the first wave of the pandemic in the province, for doing so without the appropriate protective equipment. In the ruling, the judge considers that “health professionals have the right to be compensated for personal and moral damages.” In the province of Jaén, 3 out of 10 health workers were infected in the first wave of covid, mostly nurses, and one of them died.
“With this sentence, the right of any worker to have the adequate means of protection to preserve their health is obviated: they want to turn us into martyrs so that the Administration does not have to answer for putting us in the front line without means, nor for the nurses infected and even deceased. If this is the concept they have of us, we will have to ask the Government for pension medals, for the heroism of our nurses, who have replaced the Government’s action”, argues Lendínez.