Heathcare workers walk outside the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Harapan Kita Hospital on Thursday. Parents of Ayu Tria Desiani, a leukemia patient who died in the ICU early Thursday, complained the hospital had allowed a soap opera to film in the sterile care facility. (JP/Ricky Yudhistira)
Concerns over the use of an intensive care unit (ICU) for commercial purposes were raised after the parents of Ayu Tria Desiani, a leukemia patient who died at Harapan Kita Hospital in West Jakarta on Thursday morning, complained about a soap opera being filmed in the room.
Ayu’s father, Kurnianto Thoyfur, said that shooting for the TV series Love in Paris went all night, with film crews and actors walking around without special clothes designed for the sterile room. Kurnianto, an employee with the KBR68H news agency, also complained about the noise during the shooting.
The nine-year-old girl had suffered from leukemia since she was 2 years old. On Wednesday, her condition deteriorated after suffering from acute diarrhea over the last few days.
Ayu was rushed to the hospital’s emergency room at 6:20 p.m. Doctors said that Ayu had to be transferred to the ICU due to her critical condition.
The shooting of Paris in Love had already begun when Ayu was taken to the room at 8:30 p.m., said Teddy Wibisana, who spoke on behalf Kurnianto’s family.
Teddy said that the shooting was conducted just a few meters away from Ayu’s bed. He said that the filming activities disturbed the patient and the family as equipment was scattered throughout the room and the crew shuffled back and forth.
“The distance between Ayu and the shooting location was only four beds, while the crew went back and forth the whole time without sterile clothes,” he said.
Teddy said that the filming equipment also blocked the entrance of the ICU.
After midnight, Ayu’s condition further deteriorated and she went into a coma. Doctors pronounced her dead at 2:20 a.m. on Thursday.
According to Teddy, Kurnianto still saw filming equipment and crew members at that time.
Harapan Kita director Achmad Soebagio said that the doctors had done their best to save Ayu’s life. “We provided the right treatments in the ICU,” he said, as quoted by tempo.co.
Achmad said that he delivered an apology to Ayu’s parents, who objected to the film crew’s presence.
The hospital representative said that the TV series used a room that was dedicated for doctors and nurses, not the one used for patients. “Patients and their families still had access to enter the ICU,” he said.
According to Achmad, the hospital allows production houses to rent the room for shooting on several conditions. He said that the film crews must not take the pictures or footage of the patients, and that the filming must not disturb critical patients who are receiving medical treatment.
While the hospital had a regulation on the use of its ICU for commercial purposes, Health Minister Nafsiah Mboi said that no such thing was allowed.
“No, we cannot use the ICU to film a soap opera,” she said.
Nafsiah said that she would study the case and assign ministry officials to visit the hospital and check into the situation. She said that there would be punishments if the hospital neglected the patient. (cor/lfr)