A seriously ill citizen of a third country may not be deported if he cannot be treated effectively in the country of origin and his pain would therefore quickly and irreversibly become significantly worse. This applies if he cannot get the only pain-relieving therapy in his home country and if the pain becomes so severe that it violates human dignity, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Tuesday in Luxembourg.
The case concerned a Russian illegally living in the Netherlands who suffers from a rare form of blood cancer. In the Netherlands, his pain is treated with medicinal cannabis, which is not allowed in Russia. According to his doctors, however, there is no other therapy that effectively combats his pain.
The Russian's asylum application was rejected. Before the district court in The Hague, he wants his deportation to be stopped or suspended.
The Dutch court stayed the proceedings and asked the ECJ to interpret the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. After his answer, the district court must now decide the specific case, but is bound by the legal opinion of the ECJ.