REPORT No. 13/09
March 19, 2009
This report is on the admissibility of petition 339-02.
Proceedings were initiated by the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights (hereinafter “Inter-American Commission,” “Commission,” or
“IACHR”) following its receipt of a petition lodged on May 15, 2002 by
Mses. Blanca Margarita Tapia Encina2 and Cesia Leyla Poblete Tapia, and
Mr. Antonio Poblete Tapia (hereinafter “the petitioners”) against the
Republic of Chile (hereinafter “Chile” or “the State”), regarding the
death of Mr. Vinicio Antonio Poblete Vilches on February 7, 2001, in a
public hospital of the city of Santiago.
The petitioners contend that the physicians treating Mr.
Vinicio Poblete Vilches on February 7, 2001 in a public hospital of Chile
were responsible for his death; they performed surgery on him without
informing his next of kin or requesting his authorization, and discharged
him from the hospital after the operation despite his serious health
condition. They go on to say that they received contradictory
information regarding the cause of death of the alleged victim, and
lodged a criminal complaint against the physicians in 2001, which
currently continues to be in the stage of a preliminary inquiry. They note
that there has been an unjustified delay on the part of the court to carry
out an investigation of the facts, and they report that they were
humiliated by hospital personnel and by the court examining the case.
The State, for its part, contends that the complaint should
be declared inadmissible because there is not yet a final judgment in the
investigation on a possible negligent homicide of the alleged victim, and
hence it cannot be reasonably considered that available domestic
remedies in the Chilean judicial system have been exhausted. The State
also asserts that the petition should be declared inadmissible on the
grounds that it is manifestly groundless.
1 Commissioner Felipe González, a Chilean national, did not participate in study and
decision of this report, in compliance with Article 17(2)(a) of the Commission’s Rules of
2 The petitioners informed the Commission in a January 25, 2003 communication that
Ms. Blanca Margarita Tapia-Encina died on January 13, 2003.


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