Doctors could be ostracized for refusing to deliver HIV woman’s baby
Meltem Özgenç – ANKARA
Doctors who have allegedly refused to perform a delivery for a pregnant HIV patient in the eastern province of Diyarbakır could be ostracized by the profession, after the Health Ministry informed the Health Occupations Board about the issue.
The ministry will first take the defense of the doctors employed at Diyarbakır Dicle University Hospital for not willing to perform the delivery when the woman arrived at the hospital last week with labor pains.
Afterwards, the Health Occupations Board will handle the case, preparing a separate report regarding the incident. If the board finds the doctors are at fault, they could receive a warning, be reprimanded, or could be temporarily or permanently banned from practicing the profession.
The incident concerns the case of the woman, who remains anonymous and who resides in the southeastern province of Siirt. Initially, the woman was not accepted into the surgery room because she was an HIV patient. However, she underwent delivery after the intervention of the hospital’s head doctor.
Once the news broke out in the Turkish media, the health ministry initiated an investigation into the incident. “Within the framework of our Health Occupations Board’s duties, responsibilities and authorities, our ministry will take the necessary steps regarding the claims in question,” the ministry said on Jan. 2.
“As the Health Ministry, we do not approve of behaviors that do not comply with professional ethics in medicine, such as abstaining from providing treatment or discriminating against a patient. We want the public to know sanctions will be imposed if such behaviors are detected,” they said.