Raps endorsed vs hospital for taping of baby’s mouth
CEBU CITY, Philippines—Criminal and other charges have been recommended against a private hospital and its staff members for taping the mouth of a 5-day-old infant to stop him from crying.
Using tape to secure a pacifier to silence a wailing baby may be a violation of Republic Act No. 7610, or the law against child abuse, according to the findings of an interagency panel that investigated the case of Yohannes Badocdoc.
The 15-page report, however, didn’t specify who should be charged at Cebu Puericulture Center and Maternity House Inc. (CPCMHI).
Lawyer Dante Jadman of the Commission of Human Rights (CHR) in Central Visayas, the panel head, said the panel generalized its recommendations because it wanted to leave the discretion on whom to charge to the baby’s parents—Jasmine Badocdoc and Ryan Noval.
A copy of the report was sent to the Council of the Welfare of Children of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Manila.
The report said putting tape on the mouth of the baby “without definite purpose for medication or explanation from the nurses on duty and from the hospital itself is culpable negligence or medical malpractice.”
On duty at that time were nurses Arianne Mae Pacula and Kamille Isabel Neri, chief nurse Elena Jumao-as and midwife Mehtezeya Orlanes.
Dr. Raida Varona, hospital director, was cited for command responsibility.
The panel released its 15-page report on Tuesday, almost two months after the baby’s parents complained that their baby’s mouth was taped on the evening of May 9 when Jasmine went to the nursery to breast feed her baby.
Noval posted the photo of Yohannes with a piece of tape on the mouth on his Facebook account, which went viral and prompted agencies to form a panel and investigate. Another photo showed a blue pacifier near the baby’s head.
The panel was composed of the DSWD, CHR, Department of Health, National Telecommunications Communications, National Bureau of Investigation, regional state prosecutor and police.
The report affirmed the claim of Jasmine that the tape and the pacifier were used to stop her baby from crying.
It said using a plaster to anchor the pacifier on the baby’s mouth was tantamount to child abuse because the baby’s only means of expression was crying.
The only acceptable response to the baby’s cry is human attention, it added.
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