TORONTO, Dec. 20, 2006 – Ontario nurses are condemning the conviction and death sentence handed down in the case of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor.
“Our members are deeply concerned about our health-care colleagues and the glaring lack of fair process in this case,” says Mary Ferguson-Paré, president of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO).
The five nurses and doctor worked at a hospital in Libya and are accused of intentionally spreading the HIV virus and infecting more than 400 children. Some of those children later died.
“It’s extremely disturbing to hear that the court refused to hear scientific evidence that would have shown that these health-care workers cannot be linked to or blamed for this tragedy,” says Doris Grinspun, RNAO’s executive director.
RNAO is calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay to use every diplomatic means available to urge Libya to quash the convictions of these health-care workers and allow their safe return to their respective countries.
RNAO expresses its deepest sympathies to the families of the children infected with HIV, and heartfelt condolences to those families who have lost children to AIDS.
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses wherever they practise in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.