WMA Chairman Attends Trial Of Turkish Doctor

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Dr Anders Milton, chairman of the World Medical Association, is flying to Turkey to attend Thursday's trial of a Turkish forensic doctor who is charged with aiding members of an illegal organisation.

Dr Milton has been invited by the Turkish Medical Association to attend the trial as an observer. The case will be heard at the State Security Court in Ankara.

Dr Cumhur Akpinar, who has been working for the Ankara Forensic Medicine Institute since 1993, was detained in January after police from the Turkish Anti-Terror branch raided his house. He was later charged with offences relating to the provision of forensic reports.

The Turkish Medical Association has stated that Dr Akpinar was simply performing his duties in line with the ethical principles of the medical profession and in line with declarations of the World Medical Association. It has declared that Dr Akpinar's arrest represents a threat to all doctors in Turkey who are providing good ethical medical care.

Dr Milton said today: "I am attending the trial to show that the WMA and the medical profession worldwide will fight for the right of doctors to treat patients regardless of their politicial beliefs, creed or colour. The issue of human rights is vitally important for both patients and doctors, because without human rights and the right for doctors to treat the wounded regardless, a citizen can never be sure of receiving proper health care."