Anna Karetnikova: Resuscitation measures are always carried out. Even when there is obviously no benefit to the deceased.

18 February 2024

Anna Karetnikova

Source: Facebook


I was thinking that maybe (just maybe) it is not the best idea to collect signatures for the relatives to be given the recordings of resuscitation activities from the cameras of wearable video recorders. The recordings will not be given out, they are for official use, so they should have been seized as part of the investigation, and should be in the possession of the person who conducts it.

It’s not even the fact that these video recorders are tricky things, as I understand, you can adjust the time (I had it all the time, and the recording can, of course, be edited or simply cut off, as happened often).

That’s not the catch, though. There is a risk that if you insist very much, then after some time the video recordings, if not given to relatives, will be posted, anonymously, for example, in some pro-government channels. Then they will be shown on TV. What will be on TV? Surprisingly enough, there will be these resuscitation measures, and this will be the trump card of the dark side.

The thing is, if I understood the prison doctors’ explanations correctly, such measures are always carried out. Even when there is obviously no benefit to the deceased. I will tell you about an example that surprised me due to my ignorance: while conducting an inspection, in a cell of a pre-trial detention centre we found a man hanged (later recognised as suicide) in the toilet. The inmates were out for a walk, came back, and he was hanging there. It had been over an hour since they left. The man was taken down, doctors from the medical unit came and began to resuscitate him, although in my  opinion, he was already quite dead, if not stiff. But the doctors did not give up trying. They brought an electric device, the head of the medical unit, a frail woman, jumped on the body and began to perform heart massage. The device was plugged in. Then sweating and red from their efforts, the head medic was replaced by a dentist, followed by a doctor-dermatologist. All of them pressed and pressed the deceased on the chest, and at the same time from time to time looked at the clock. At some point, probably after about 20-30 minutes, they stopped their efforts at once, turned off the device and went to the infirmary.

I came to the tired and angry head of the medical unit, expressed my respect and asked: Was it really possible to save him? You tried so selflessly, but it seemed to me …

“And so it was!”, – she replied angrily.  “He hanged himself and died a long time ago. No one could revive him.”

As she told me (and then confirmed by other doctors, including Dr. Kravchenko), there is an instruction, a protocol, according to which resuscitation measures should be carried out exactly for a certain amount of time (I don’t remember how many minutes, doctors know better) before death is registered. And even if you see that a person is hopelessly dead, you cannot get away from it, otherwise you will be severely punished, or even prosecuted for the death, when they will look for the guilty party. Therefore, it is better to do too much than too little, especially with video recorders on, which every second employee is wearing.

In that case, three or four people, including me, had their recorders on. So what was recorded? Well, exactly what I described. Namely, the resuscitative measures WERE PERFORMED. With a dead person, with a dying person, with an alive person who can be helped, and that’s what’s unclear on the recording. But they were performed. They should be done – and they were.

Therefore, it seems to me more correct not  to request the recordings from the cameras of wearable recorders of events. It is more correct to request to show someone ( to whom?:( ) video recordings from stationary surveillance cameras (if they are there, which one would hope in such a strict institution) – from the walk for starters. From the morning walk that was allegedly accomplished. Then, from the premises of the punishment cell. Then, preferably, from the corridor through which the convict returned to this room. The continuity of the recording will be a very important factor here. 

Yes, the quality of recordings from such cameras is worse, but they can give some idea of what happened. It would be good, of course, to record the night before… but I realise that this is probably a naive dream. But we must demand it.

Because, I repeat, if you formulate the request: ” Were resuscitation measures carried out? Show me!”. – then there is a risk of getting a meaningless and favourable answer to the dark side: “They were. Here you go!” This will devalue, to a certain extent, the attempts to learn the truth and give a trump card to propagandists.

Although, of course, any activity now, in these terrible days, is invaluable.


Translated by Ecaterina Hughes

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