Romania has declared a state of emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has a few effects. Two of which I consider relevant for this questions are:

  • they limit some of people's rights (like the right to move freely, for ex);
  • some decisions can badly affect certain categories of people (lose jobs, unable to get access to care, difficulty in access food, for ex).

Old people are the most affected and in extreme situations. They might die not because of the virus, but because of decisions that are taken to slow down the progression of the virus, like being unable to access care, or medicine, or food because people are restricted in what they can do and health services are restricted in what cases they treat.

My question is this: If Romanian politicians take bad decisions, or police and military enforce bad decisions and this causes deaths that could have been avoided if they had more... "common sense" let's say... after the state of emergency ends, are they accountable for their actions? Or does anything go during a state of emergency with no consequences for those in power?

  • I'm pretty sure that the state of emergency does not forbid people from seeking medical treatment and supplies. – Croves Mar 24 at 17:09
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    @Croves: of course not, but because everyone is preoccupied with covid-19, a lot of other health conditions get neglected or forgotten even though they are just as dangerous, if not even more. So, people get turned away when they present themselves to hospitals if they are not infected with covid-19 and are not in a critical state. And later they go into a critical state even though that could have been prevented if not been turned down because they don't have the infection everyone is now panicking about. – Marge Mar 25 at 14:52
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    I understand your point, but it seems that your assumptions are incorrect.If you seek medical treatment with symptoms that do not includes you in the urgency category, you will be asked to return home. So, if you had a car accident and suffer multiple traumas, of course you will be treated, same if your simptoms are for hearth attack, for example. But if you go to the hospital with a diaheia because you ate too much snacks, they will send you home for sure. – Croves Mar 25 at 15:06
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    Ref. to "If Romanian politicians take bad decisions, or police and military enforce bad decisions and this causes deaths that could have been avoided if they had more". Romania already has [the highest rate of avoidable deaths in hospitals in EU] (neweurope.eu/article/…) and accountability is virtually non-existent in the health system. – Alexei Mar 28 at 21:43

The general answer to this, which applies in most democratic countries, is that governments are not legally responsible for "bad" decisions, whether made during a state of emergency or not. The main reasons for this are:

  1. Who is to say what is a "bad" decision? It's rarely obvious, even with 20/20 hindsight, and the general view is that the electorate is responsible for deciding, which means:
  2. the redress for governments who make bad decisions is that at the next election the people will vote them out.

That said, a state of emergency does not mean "anything goes". Governments are still responsible for illegal actions. If a government ordered random shootings of innocent people in the street that would still be illegal, even in a state of emergency, and any soldier who carried out such an action could be prosecuted. A state of emergency extends what is legal, but doesn't extend it indefinitely. It might be legal to force the closure of businesses in a state of emergency, but not to kill random people.


No, they won’t. Even if they had been wrong. Like we can see in Italy the spreading of the virus explodes if it isn’t stoped by rigorous isolation of the population like lock down, closing restaurants, factories, shops, keeping social distance. The number of beds the intensive care units is limited, the hospitals and the medical personal won’t be able to care for all the sick and dying people.

Doctors and helpers are dying and even experts say today a week ago they would have thought restriction they accept today were crazy.

While I write this they say in the TV-news that the Chinese Government is apologizing for condemning the doctor who warned in January of the pandemic. As we know this doctor is dead. And the Chinese have declared their solemnly thanksgiving to this doctor.

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