The imprisonment of Cyril Karabus is deplorable

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e6815 (Published 9 October 2012)
Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6815

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  1. Vivienne Nathanson, director of professional activities
  1. 1BMA, London WC1H 9JP, UK
  1. vnathanson{at}bma.org.uk

And may affect the subsequent practice of foreign doctors in the UAE

Today a 77 year old paediatric oncologist sits in prison in Abu Dhabi while he waits to be retried for an offence he was originally convicted of more than 10 years ago, in absentia. Although that original conviction has been set aside he has been charged again with manslaughter, even though the courts apparently have no files or contact with the family of the dead patient. His defence lawyers have no access to any documents, which seriously inhibits their preparation of his defence.

Professor Cyril Karabus spent many years as a paediatric oncologist in South Africa, and throughout the apartheid era he worked to save the lives of black children with cancer. After his retirement he worked as a locum, including in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He returned to South Africa and did not know he had been tried over the death from leukaemia of a 3 year old child and found guilty of manslaughter in the UAE. On his way home to South Africa from a …

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