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Court bars Lagos hospitals from demanding blood donation for maternity services

Justice Raliat Adebiyi of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, on Monday ordered government hospitals in the state to stop demanding compulsory blood donations from women seeking antenatal and maternity services.

She also restrained government hospitals in the state from demanding blood donations from spouses and other relations of pregnant women seeking antenatal and maternity services.

The judge delivered the ruling in a fundamental human rights suit filed by the trustees of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

The state Attorney-General, the Ministry of Health and the state Commissioner for Health are listed as respondents in the suit.

She said: “The respondents’ contributions to child and maternal deaths stands to reason. Though no data on the child and maternal mortalities recorded as a result of the policy was provided to the court.

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“A policy that will deny citizens the right to medical care based on failure to donate blood is not only unconstitutional but unconscionable and adverse to the life and wellbeing of all citizens that access the respondents’ facilities.”

Justice Adebiyi described the actions of the respondents as “arbitrary, unfair and a violation of their human rights as enshrined in Section 38(1) of the 1999 Constitution.”

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