A woman fainted in shock when a hospital ordered her to gather up the amputated legs of her husband and take them away with her after his surgery.
The incident has provoked outrage in Ukraine – where hospital funding shortages are being blamed for the shocking request of the patient’s wife.
Medics in the hospital allegedly ordered the wife to take her husband’s amputated limbs away with her after they performed the dramatic surgery, arguing they didn’t have the facilities to dispose of “medical waste”.
The wife subsequently passed out in horror when she swung a sack containing the still-warm legs of her husband over her shoulder to take them away.
An investigation is under way after the incident took place at Novobuzhskaya Central District Hospital, in Novyi Buh, in the country's southern Mykolaiv region.
A friend of the unnamed wife gave evidence at a public meeting.
Oksana Kirichishina is quoted explaining: "Her husband's legs were amputated.
“She was told at the hospital to come in the morning, sit there until the surgery was over and take the legs.
“She put this sack with the legs on her shoulders.
“She left the hospital and fainted because…she felt the warmth of these legs on her shoulder.”
The hospital has hit back at the accusations – with chief doctor Vladimir Lushchenko claiming relatives should have been expected to recover amputated limbs to be buried with patients upon death.
And he turned on the wife, criticising her for failing “to understand the situation”.
The hospital has also argued their “recycling centre” was destroyed by locals who “plundered” it for parts and scrap – and said the facility would cost 300,000 hryvnia (£8,200) to replace, while installation and a license would also increase costs.
Dr Lushchenko argued the woman should have sought help from hospital management.
But the distraught wife claimed she followed the instructions she had been given by the hospital.
The reason for the patient requiring a double leg amputation is not clear.
Local authorities are investigating the incident via a commission, with a spokesperson adding: “The commission is currently working at the hospital. On completion of the inspection, the conclusions of the commission will be made public.”