07.04.2022 | Petitions to the Minister of Health of the Republic of Armenia on reducing corruption risks in the field of autopsies, storage of corpses

December 26, 2019 in the Investigation Department of the National Security Service of the Republic of Armenia on the fact of bribery in an especially large amount - 2.100.000 AMD by the head of the department of forensic medical examinations of the Kotayk region of the SNCO "Scientific and Practical Center of Forensic Medicine" of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia in the period November-December 2019 with the participation of an autopsy nurse and another person in the said department took from relatives of about 60 deceased in exchange for a forensic medical examination of the body; a criminal case was initiated.


During the preliminary investigation, the defendants testified that they took money not for a forensic medical examination or an autopsy, but for the treatment and make-up of the body. That is, their labor duties did not include work on processing, making up a corpse, dressing and laying in a coffin. These were additional services, for which they charged from 10,000 AMD to 35,000 AMD from the relatives of the corpses.


From the study of the factual data obtained during the preliminary investigation of the specified criminal case by the Prosecutor's Office of the Kotayk region of the Republic of Armenia, the charter of the SNCO “SPCFM”, contracts concluded between employees, it became clear that a number of the most important problems do not have clear regulations, and it is not clear what is the procedure for fulfilling the related functions.


The study of the materials of another criminal case showed that, although by order of the Minister of Health of the Republic of Armenia N-11-N dated July 31, 2012, it is planned to store unidentified corpses at a temperature of -150-250 C, the walls of the dissecting room, the corpse storage and the bathroom up to the ceiling must be lined with tiles, however, the above order does not apply to the SNCO “SPCFM” of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia. There is no legislative act that defines the obligation to protect corpses or the mandatory conditions for protecting corpses.


Taking into account that every citizen is exposed to corruption risks arising from unresolved issues in the industry, and the determination of mandatory conditions for the protection of corpses - the availability of technical means, is very important, the prosecutor of Kotayk region Petros Petrosyan sent petitions to the RA Minister of Health.


They raised the issue of forensic medical examination of corpses, effective payment for additional paid services, elimination of uncertainties in the settlement of possible criminal abuses, determination of appropriate procedures for services, their types, and amounts of payment.


In addition, for the effective implementation of the process of proper storage of corpses, it became necessary to establish an appropriate procedure for the SNCO “SPCFM”, provide the SNCO with the necessary technical equipment and other conditions for the storage of corpses.