Home
American Academy of Emergency Medicine

AAEM Opposes Turkish Medical Bill Criminalizing Emergency First Aid Care

January 28, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Laura Burns
               lburns@aaem.org
               800-884-2236

MILWAUKEE — The American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) is the specialty society of board certified emergency physicians. AAEM is a democratic organization committed to the principle of fair and equitable practice environments to allow emergency physicians to provide the highest quality of patient care.

It is the firm opinion of AAEM that the medical bill newly signed by Turkish President Abdullah Gul, making it a crime to administer emergency first aid without government authorization, unjustly and negatively affects both patients and providers.

AAEM believes that every individual should have unencumbered access to quality emergency care provided by a specialist in emergency medicine.

AAEM president, William T. Durkin, Jr., MD MBA FAAEM notes, “Physicians are bound by the Hippocratic Oath. To ignore someone in extremis while awaiting approval from a bureaucrat is inhuman and goes against any sense of decency.”

As noted by the independent group, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), “Article 46 of the bill will criminalize emergency medical care and punish doctors with heavy fines and imprisonment for simply assisting Turkish citizens in need of emergency medical care.”1

On January 9th, 2014, Physicians for Human Rights was joined by several other leading medical groups in writing to President Adbullah to express grave concerns about the bill. AAEM adds their support to this letter in calling on the Turkish government to reverse this decision.

###

The American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) is the specialty society in emergency medicine today. As an organization, AAEM believes achievement of board certification represents the only acceptable method of attaining recognition as a specialist in emergency medicine.

For more information, please visit www.aaem.org or call 800-884-2236.
Connect with AAEM: www.aaem.org/connect.

1. Turkish President Signs Bill that Criminalizes Emergency Medical Care. Physicians for Human Rights. http://physiciansforhumanrights.org/press/press-releases/turkish-president-signs-bill-that-criminalizes-emergency-medical-care.html. Published 1/17/14. Accessed 1/21/14.


January 28, 2014
President of Turkey, Mr. Abdullah Gül 
Cumhurbaskanligi 06689
Çankaya, Ankara, Turkey

 

Dear President Abdullah Gül,

I am writing today to add our support to the letter sent on January 9th, 2014, from the leaders of Physicians for Human Rights, the World Medical Association, the German Medical Association, the Committee of European Doctors, and the British Medical Association, expressing grave concerns about the health bill recently passed by the Turkish parliament.

The American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) is the specialty society of board certified emergency physicians.

It is our firm opinion that every individual should have unencumbered access to quality emergency care. Article 46 of the new bill criminalizing emergency medical care and punishing providers for assisting Turkish citizens will impede access to emergency care and patients & providers will be unjustly affected. 

We join other concerned physicians from the international medical community in urging you to reconsider these provisions which undermine medical access for Turkish citizens. 

 

William T. Durkin, Jr., MD MBA FAAEM 
President, American Academy of Emergency Medicine