WMA support for Professor Karabus

(13.10.2012) The World Medical Association today called on the authorities of the United Arab Emirates to ensure that Professor Cyril Karabus receives a fair trial when he returns to court next month on a charge of manslaughter.

At their annual General Assembly in Bangkok, Thailand, delegates from some 50 national medical associations unanimously adopted an emergency resolution of support for Prof. Karabus, a 78-year-old South African paediatric haematologist, who was arrested in August in relation to the death of a child under his care in the UAE in 2002.

Dr. Mark Sonderup, deputy chair of the South African Medical Association, told the Assembly that the child with an acute leukaemia had been under Professor Karabus's care when he briefly worked in the UAE 10 years ago. Unfortunately the child died and Prof. Karabus returned to South Africa. However unknown to him a charge of murder was brought against him. While he was travelling through Dubai in August this year he was arrested and imprisoned. The charge was reduced to manslaughter and after six court appearances he was eventually bailed this week.

Dr. Sonderup said a new court hearing had been fixed for November 20, although he was not assured that Prof. Karabus would get access to a fair trial.

The court had now ruled that a medical panel would review the case. The details of this process were not clear.

Dr. Otmar Kloiber, Secretary General of the WMA, said the Association also remained very concerned about the Professor's situation and had been asked for help by his family.

Full text of Resolution: http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/k2/index.html