WMA Secretary General Kloiber: Independent doctors should be allowed in prisons


ANKARA - The Secretary General of the World Medical Association (WMA) Dr. Otmar Kloiber who said isolation should be removed called on for the independent delegations to go to prisons to check the health status of the hunger strikers.

Secretary General of the World Medical Association (WMA) Otmar Kloiber made evaluations for the Mesopotamian Agency (MA) gegarding the hunger strikes and the isolation conditions.
Expressing that isolation can cause many physical and psychological problems, Kloiber said that especially the long-term isolation has severe psychological effects on the person.Kloiber who referred to the isolation as 'torture and degrading treatment' said: "That's why there are clear limits to isolation drawn by United Nations (BM) which are called Nelson Mandela rules. As the Medical Association we strongly recommend and demand the governments and the prison administrations to stick to these rules so that the punishment won't turn to torture or degrading treatment and the health of the prisoner won't be effected. It is very important that human beings have meaningful interaction and communication with other humans and the time frame for that is clearly determined in the Nelson Mandela guideline."
Kloiber who commented on the fact that the medical associations were not allowed in prisons to check the prisoners as independent delegations, said the World Medical Association has a guideline for the hunger strikes. Kloiber said: "In order to treat the prisoners correctly, we have to be in a proper relation with the prisoners, we should be able to talk to them and recommend treatment for them without the interference of the prison authorities. That is why we have a clear demand to the prison authorities to not interfere with the doctor- patience relationship. This is what we need to meet the needs of the hunger strikers."
Dr. Kloiber who stated that the doctors working in the prisons are working for the prison system, said they usually have to struggle for the independent delegations to get into the prisons in these situations. Dr. Kloiber said. "The point is that, the doctors who are seeing those prisoners have to be independent and can make their own medical judgements independent from the prison authority. That is the important point. Regardless where they are employed from or not employed from ,they must be able to make a medical judgment without interference from the prison authorities. To expect this from a person working for the prison system would be naive. Anyway this is what the Malta Agreement and other international aggreements dictate. For a doctor to be able to help a patient, they should be able to make their own medical judgement." 
Kloiber who stated that they made a call regarding the ongoing hunger strikes, said they have felt the need to adress President Erdoğan to remind the medical rights of the hunger strikers. Kloiber who emphasized that they need to apply the Nelson Mandela rules, said: "We recommended that they should respect the WMA rules, and the Malta Agreement. WMA will protect and treat these people at the best of their abilty and will not let inhumane and degrading treatment."