The deputy ombudsman ruled on a number of complaints on Friday.
Parliamentary Deputy Ombudsman Maija Sakslin Strongly criticizes the Department of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health for forcing in the spring 65-69-year-olds to take the coronavirus vaccine from the pharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca in many municipalities, despite new information about the vaccine’s possible harm.
In his ruling on Friday, the Deputy Ombudsman finds that the Department of Health and Welfare violated the Constitution, the prohibition of discrimination and the Patients’ Act. At no point did the institution assess legal issues from the perspective of the Equality Act, patient self-determination and non-discrimination.
“With regard to equality and non-discrimination, I believe that people between the ages of 65 and 69 have been treated less favorably on the basis of their age than people in other age groups when it comes to coroner vaccinations.”
At the end of March, the National Institute for Health and Welfare instructed municipalities to give Astra Zeneca a vaccine to people aged 65 to 69, even though it was less effective than other vaccines and had severe blood clotting problems. It was no longer recommended to give the vaccine to others at that time.
According to the Equality Act, discrimination is direct if someone is treated less favorably on the basis of a personal reason than someone else has been, is or would be treated in a comparable situation.
Deputy Ombudsman According to Sakslin, the Department of Health and Welfare’s release in March was misleading and incomplete. As a result, many municipalities complied with it as if it had been a decision or regulation binding on municipalities.
According to the Constitution, the exercise of public power must be based on law. In addition, all public activities must strictly comply with the law.
In other words, the guidelines of the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) are not binding on municipalities, but should have been based on the law in force when deciding on vaccinations.
“A bulletin published by THL led several municipalities – including the four largest cities in our country – to refuse to vaccinate people aged 65-69 with a non-Astra Zeneca corona vaccine,” says the deputy ombudsman.
Deputy Ombudsman Sakslin also considers that the municipalities responsible for vaccinations have acted incorrectly. In addition, the Department of Health and Welfare violated the patients ’right to self-determination provided for in the Patients Act.
Self-determination means that the patient must be cared for in agreement with him or her. If a patient refuses a particular treatment or procedure, he or she should, as far as possible, be treated in agreement with him or her in another medically acceptable manner.
To the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health Deputy Attorney Sakslin made the remark because the ministry neglected its duty to ensure that the Department of Health and Welfare complied with the Constitution in its instructions.
“STM: n [sosiaali- ja terveysministeriö] the procedure in the case referred to in this decision is particularly reprehensible because STM, even after repeated allegations from the Supreme Legislature, has not taken steps to ensure that it and its subsidiary [Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos] the activity meets the requirements of legality and legal nature provided for in Article 2 (3) of the Constitution. ”
The requirement of borrowing and legal affiliation means precisely that the exercise of public power must be based on the law and that all public activities must strictly comply with the law.
Read more: Ombudsman receives dozens of complaints about vaccinations – especially recent complaints from people over 65 about Astra Zeneca