The family of a brain-dead asylum seeker have given consent to turn his life support off, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed.
A brain-dead Iranian asylum seeker who had been detained on Australia’s Manus Island facility has died after his family decided to switch off his life support.
Hamid Kehazaei was taken from Papua New Guinea last week after an infection in a cut foot deteriorated to severe septicaemia. He was then treated at a Brisbane hospital.
He was pronounced brain dead this week, according to refugee advocates.
Mr Kehazaei’s family gave consent on Friday afternoon to switch his life support off, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison confirmed.
“I am very saddened by this man’s passing and on behalf of the Australian government I extend our deepest sympathy to the man’s family and friends,” Mr Morrison said in a statement.
“My department has and will continue to provide support to the family and has been in contact with family members during the course of the man’s treatment,” he said, adding that the name and age of the man would not be released, subject to agreement from his family.
The Australian Greens earlier disputed Mr Morrison’s claim’s that Mr Kehazaei had received “outstanding” care before his transfer to Brisbane.
“If outstanding care on Manus Island sees someone die because of a cut foot, it needs to be shut down,” Greens immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young said.
Mr Morrison rejected suggestions the care provided to Mr Kehazaei was inadequate.
“When someone becomes ill they receive outstanding care from the people who work as part of our mainland detention network,” he said.
Mr Morrison has asked the immigration department’s chief medical officer to review Mr Kehazaei’s treatment.
“I will base my assessment of that treatment on facts and not Facebook,” he said.
Labor has called for the review to be made public as soon as possible.
Opposition immigration spokesman Richard Marles said Labor continued to be concerned about the lack of transparency surrounding the treatment of asylum seekers.
Refugee advocate Ian Rintoul said Mr Kehazaei’s death was “senseless and inexcusable”.
“Hamid’s death speaks for the medical neglect, and to the culture of punishment, and indifference that pervades Manus Island,” he said.
“Infections and skin disease are endemic in the detention centre. It is unhygienic, unsanitary and unsafe.”