Case 350

Case File Number: 167/2007. Decision No. 350 of 17 October 2007
Download Judgment: English
Country: Romania
Region: Europe
Year: 2007
Court: National Council for Combating Discrimination
Health Topics: Health care and health services
Human Rights: Freedom from discrimination
Tags: Access to health care, Access to treatment, Emergency care, Health care professionals, Health care workers

The plaintiff, a Romani woman, claimed that she was discriminated against by I.A., an ambulance technician, who supposedly refused to lift the plaintiff into the ambulance because of her ethnic origin. These facts were contested by the ambulance technician, who claims that she was hit by one of the plaintiff’s male family members while trying to provide service for the plaintiff. Despite this, the other medical still lifted the patient into the ambulance and transported her to Piatra Neamt County Emergency Hospital. Her colleagues, the other members of the ambulance staff, confirmed this version of the events. When I.A. elected to press criminal charges, other members of the plaintiff’s family offered to bribe the chief physician of the ambulance service. This did not affect I.A’s decision. The plaintiff filed a complaint with the Commission of Professional Monitoring and Competence, which was not pursued.

The Court held, based on the facts of this case, that the plaintiff was not a victim of discrimination on account of her ethnic origin. It subscribed to I.A.’s version of events, and thus found that no discrimination occurred.

The court stated that for an act to constitute discrimination: it must (1) include an initial distinction, (2) this distinction must be on the basis of a proscribed category of G.O. No 137/200, (3) the distinction, must as a goal or as an effect, restrict or eliminate “human rights and fundamental freedoms recognized by law”, and (4) the measure must not be “objectively justifiable by a legitimate aim.”The facts in this case did not meet such criteria.

the distinction based on one of the discrimination criteria enumerated by the law has as a goal or effect the restriction or elimination of acknowledgement, of use or exercise, in equal conditions, of the human rights and fundamental freedoms recognized by the law, in the domain of politics, economy, society, culture or in any other domain of public life;

- the measure is not objectively justifiable by a legitimate aim, and the means of reaching that aim are not adequate and necessary.” (p. 4)

“Therefore, not all situations in which persons are treated differently can amount to acts of discrimination, and such treatment can rely on other reasons than the person’s belonging to one of the categories enumerated in Art 2, para.1 of G.O. No. 137/2000.” (p. 4)