Cairo: 5 /7/ 2008

Press release
Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue (FDHRD) issies its report on the right to life in Egypt in 2007

On 5 July 2008, FDHRD has issued a report on “ Violation of the right to life”. This report documents the violation to right to life which take place due to the occurance of the crimes of the medical neglegnece and suicide in Egypt.

In this report, FDHRD analyses the contents of 20 Egyptian newspapers(daily and weekly) on Suicide and death as a result of medical negligence. The first section of the report includes cases of suicide documented in the Egyptian newspapers in 2007. The second section includes all the cases of medical negligence which results in deaths in 2007.

Medical negligence resulted in the death of 28 victims in Egypt during 2007:
The report documents the death of 28 cases due to medical negligence either because of the direct mistake made by the doctor or because of different reasons . It is observed that the number of deaths due to medical negligence has increased due to the lack of the existence of deterring penalties against those who commit the negligence or due to the slowness of the legal procedures which normally lead the perpetrator not to be penalized and therefore he/she continues to repeat the crime.

Over-dozes of drugs which leads to death:
The report documents that 14% of the cases of death resulted from over-dozes of drugs.

62% of the victims were women:
When analyzing the contents of newspapers, it is found that the number of women who were victims of medical negligence were 18 women which constitutes 62% of the total number of cases documented by the report.

Cairo is the top governorate where the medical negligence occurs by 31% while Alexandria comes at the second top by 10%.
Although we expected the number of cases of medical negligence in the south of Egypt is bigger than those occures in the capital, it is found that Cairo is the top governorate where the medical negligence occurs by 31% while Alexandria comes at the second top by 10%.

El Masry El Youm newspaper is the top newspaper that wrote about the cases of medical negligence: El Masry El Youm newspaper is the top newspaper that wrote about the cases of medical negligence as it published 50% of the total cases of medical negligence. Then, Al Omah newspaper came at the second top among the daily newspaper and at the first top among the weekly newspapers as it published 10% of the total cases documented by the report. Ros El Yousef newspaper came at the third top as it published 6% of the total cases.

“ The red-handed pages in El Wafd, Ros El Yoused and El Masry El Youm newspapers” are the top newspapers that publishes the news of the attempts of suicide:
El Wafd newspaper published 7 cases of attempted suicide by 18.9% of the total case while El Masry El Youm and Ros El Yousef newspapers came at the second top in publishing news on the attempted suicide by 16.2% of the total cases. Then, El Akhbar newspaper came at the third top in publishing news on attempted suicide by 13.5% of the total number of cases.

24% of the cases of suicide occurred in Cairo.
Cairo came at the top governorate in which suicide occurs as there were 10 cases of suicide out of the total number of 41 cases of suicide. Then, El Qalyoubeya governorate came at the second top as there were 8 cases of suicide in this governorate. Afterwards, the governorates of El Giza and El Swees came at the third top as there were 5 cases of suicide in each one of them.

53% of the total number of cases of suicide occurred among men:
The number of men who tried to commit suicide was 22 persons by 53.7% while the number of women who tried to commit suicide was 19 persons by 46.3% . The number of men who actually committed suicide was 54 men by 66.7% while the number of women who actually committed suicide was 27 women by 33.3%

“ Housewives , unemployed and students” are the top categories of persons who committed suicide: It is observed that “Housewives” committed suicide because of the problems they went through and their number was 18 housewives by 43.9% cases of the total cases while the number unemployed and students who committed suicide was 6 cases in each category by 14.6% of the total cases . Finally the number of workers who committed suicide was 4 cases by 9.7% of the total cases.

59.3% of those committed suicide were under 35 years old:
It is observed that 59.3% of those committed suicide were under 35 years old as their number was 30 cases while the number of those committed suicide and their ages were between 30 to 50 years old was 8 cases.

It is observed that those who under 35 years old committed suicide because they lack experiences and they suffer economic problems as well as they suffer from the problems of unemployment.

The economic and domestic problems are the problems that led Egyptians to commit suicide: The economic and domestic problems are the problems that led Egyptians to commit suicide as there were 14 cases that committed suicide because of the domestic problems by 31.7% and there were 14 cases that committed suicide because of the economic problems by the 31.7% . Finally, there were 6 cases that committed suicide because of poverty by 14.6%.

Mass suicide does not exist in Egypt:
Suicide is a crime in Egypt and the Egyptian society criticize those who attempt to commit suicide. Therefore there is not any organized suicide crime in Egypt. Although the report documented one case only of mass suicide, it was not an organized crime at all.

The report recommended the follows:
  1. The necessity of reviewing the legal structure in Egypt in relation to the crimes of medical negligence. The purpose of the review is to provide effective and real protection to patients and limit the number of cases of negligence that lead to death.
  2. The necessity of reviewing the general budget of the state and to increase the money allocated for the medical care to increase by 20% instead of 3% as what is happening now.
  3. The national council for youth shall investigate the reasons of the increase number of suicide among youth and try to find a solution for this problem.
  4. The Egyptian media shall increase the public awareness of the Egyptian citizens particularly among the youth aiming at opening channel of communication among youth and media on one hand and among youth and responsible leaders on the other hand and therefore searching for solutions for their problems.
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