Doctor who denied right to medical care sues her trans patient

This post includes original content without a translatable publication source.

 

As reported previously, on March 31 2014, following her sex reassignment surgery, H.Ç. visited Dr. Fatma Hut at the Reşat Berger Hospital in order to get her prescriptions filled, through her existing social (state) insurance. Consequently, in violation of Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 12 and General Comment No. 14 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the recommendations set forth in the preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization, and Articles 17 and 56 of the Constitution of Turkey as interpreted by Turkey’s supreme court[1], Dr. Fatma Hut denied H.Ç. her right to medical care and refused to prescribe medications that were necessary for H.Ç’s treatment following her surgery, arguing: “You are a man, I do not condone your situation, I will not examine you.”

Partly because such cases are pursued by volunteer lawyers at SPoD, immediate action could not be taken and a complaint was not filed immediately following the event.

Some time after this encounter, H.Ç. received an automated SMS (text message) from the judicial UYAP Information System, informing her that a complaint had been filed against her, that she was under investigation, and that she was legally obligated to appear before the office of public prosecution. Not knowing the nature nor the cause of the investigation, H.Ç. arrived at the prosecutor’s office on September 8th and inquired about the situation to one of the administrative assistants there. As it turns out, two days after their encounter on March 31, Dr. Fatma Hut had filed a criminal complaint against H.Ç., arguing that she had insulted her. Upon receiving the complaint, the public prosecutor decided to further investigate this complaint and to call H.Ç. for her testimony as the defendant/ suspect[2]. Surprised by the news, H.Ç. later returned to the office of public prosecution and submitted her statement.

Following Hut’s preemptive legal maneuver, H.Ç. and her lawyer filed their complaint against the doctor that same day.

The following week, H.Ç. received another SMS through the Turkish court system. The message informed her that she was being called to testify before a judge as the defendant in the case on December 25, 2014 at 10am. The public prosecutor, who also refused to treat H.Ç. as a woman in his formal dealings with her with the excuse that she had not received her pink ID yet[3], had decided to convert the investigation into a full fledged lawsuit.

H.Ç. and her lawyer are hoping that their complaint will also develop into a lawsuit and be merged with the doctor’s case.


[1] Özgür Temiz, (2014). “Türk hukukunda bir temel hak olarak sağlık hakkı” (“Right to health as an essential right in Turkish law”). SBF Dergisi, 69, 1, pp. 165 – 188. Accessed online on October 8, 2014 at [http://dergiler.ankara.edu.tr/dergiler/42/1927/20207.pdf]

[2] “Sanık,” in Turkish legal terminology, means both “defendant” and “suspect” and often incorporates socially negative connotations in its everyday use.

[3] In Turkey, men and women are issued national ID cards with distinct colors determined by the binary gender system. Women receive pink colored ID cards while men receive blue colored ones.

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