World Medical Association Condemns Sixth Deferment Of Trial Of Turkish Doctor

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The World Medical Association today condemned a decision by a court in Turkey to defer yet again the trial of a Turkish doctor charged with refusing to hand over to the authorities the names and records of patients he has treated.

Dr Tufan Köse, who works in the Ceyhan Muradiye health centre in Adana in south west Turkey, was charged with "disobedience to the order of official authorities" after he refused to disclose to the Turkish authorities information form the medical records of 167 alleged victims of torture he had treated.

Dr Ian Field, secretary general of the World Medical Association, who attended the trial, said today:

"The deferment of the case for the sixth time by the Turkish court is a poor outlook for international medical ethics. Dr Köse's action in withholding confidential medical information about his patients from the authorities follows principles of medical ethics that are generally accepted across the world. Confidential information of this nature should only be handed over with the specific consent of the patient concerned.

"Governments who disregard such principles to suit their own ends must be challenged and when innocent doctors are jailed, it is the duty of the medical community across the world to protest."