Turkey’s Medical Association penalises transphobic doctor

Turkish Medical Association (TTB) reprimanded the gynaecologist who refuses to examine a trans woman.

The trans woman, H.Ç., visited Beyoğlu Prof. Dr. Reşat Belger Ophthalmology Training Research Hospital General Surgery Unit for an examination in June 2014, however, was rejected by gynaecologist F.H. on the grounds that “her condition is unacceptable.”

Upon gynaecologist F.H.’s rejection of examining a patient for the reason that she is a trans woman, Turkish Medical Association started an investigation and penalised the doctor to pay 90 Turkish liras. After patient H.Ç.’s complaint with  Social Policies Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association (SPoD) is investigated and the doctor is questioned by TTB, it is dijudicated that “doctors’ right to reject patients is not limitless.”

Following her transition, H.Ç. had visited Beyoğlu Prof. Dr. Reşat Belger Ophthalmology Training Research Hospital General Surgery Unit for to be prescribed a medicine concerning her operation and to get examined, but had been rejected by gynaecologist F.H. Saying “I won’t examine you. You are a man, and I don’t approve your situation.”, F.H. refused H.Ç. as a patient and H.Ç. was told to visit the plastic surgery unit.


In the reprimand, TBB emphasised the gynaecologist didn’t conform to the disciplinary regulations by stating “Rejection should be supported by reasonable and understandable causes, not a cause that is an offence.” It is also remarked by TBB that the medication for patient H.Ç. is suited to be prescribed by OB/GYNs, and TBB decided doctor’s refusal in this case is malpractice.

The Case had been previously declined

After the incident last year, H.Ç. filed a charge against the doctor but governorship didn’t allow to start an investigation. The lawsuit in the cause of preventing the right to attain healthcare, and discrimination regarding sexual orientation was also found unnecessary for starting an investigation by the prosecution office; it was finally brought to the supreme court by SPoD lawyer Rozerin Seda Kip last month. Kip spoke to Agos regarding the case, saying “In the lawsuit aforementioned, even though doctor F.H. is the one who ought to prove that there’s no discriminatory manners involved, the fact that F.H. is left without an investigation causes impunity.”

They are not treated for fear of discrimination

For homosexuals and trans people, the concern for being discriminated sometimes causes a pressure resulting in delaying treatment or not to be treated at all. Results of a research conducted by SPoD and Boğaziçi University, shows that a number of participants hesitate to consult a doctor for fear of discrimination. According to the research, approximately 8 percent of LGBTIs don’t get treated or delay their treatment for fearing that they will be exposed to discrimination.




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