A doctor in Vienna is being investigated after he posted a Facebook update and left a sign outside his office saying he would refuse to treat refugees.
— Jan Czapski (@jan_czapski) January 14, 2016
In a direct violation of the Hippocratic Oath – an oath held sacred by medical professionals in which they swear amongst other things to offer treatment to all human beings without prejudice – GP Thomas Unden caused public outrage when he put a sign up in his practice refusing service to refugees.
Doctors may only refuse to treat a patient if they have a “justified reason”, such as having been insulted or attacked by a patient, said the medical association in Vienna that is responsible for investigating him.
Dr Unden followed up with a Facebook post proudly reiterating his stance against refugees. Following the outrage, it has now been deleted.
Unden, who had previously used his social media account to make anti-refugee comments relating to the Cologne attacks, also got fined €1,500 for using media platforms to make misogynistic comments. Most recently, he announced on an Austrian radio station he would not treat “people whose name and origins I don’t know” but claimed he would continue treating his long-term patients.
He then went on to tell Kurier newspaper (German) that along with refugees, he would also deny service to politicians from the “Social Democrats, Greens or Conservative People’s Party” – presumably because their view of the world may differ from his.
Following this investigation, Unden may be fined and could potentially have his medical licence suspended.
His comments make light of the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time, as people desperately fleeing conflict-ravaged nations like Syria head for Europe, where medical professionals have worked tirelessly to take care of the ill and injured.
Médecins Sans Frontières has spent €31.5m (£24m, $34.3m) in Europe to help with the refugee crisis, which has seen over one million people entering the EU by sea in 2015 according to the UNHCR.
Disgusted by Thomas Unden’s attitude? Be part of the solution and:
Donate to the UNHCR, an organisation that is working around the clock with other agencies and aid groups to keep vulnerable refugees protected and warm.
Donate to Médecins Sans Frontières to help them fund the supply of medical professionals that (unlike Thomas) will treat refugees and make every effort to help them become well again.
Featured image via Wikimedia