Transplant competition

Need a transplant of a face, womb, legs or arms? Come to Turkey, where university hospitals are trying their best to help you out. You might lose your limbs again or even your life following the procedure, but then at least you can be sure the doctors were able to get more experience while they were practicing on you.

Sorry for being cynical here, but I’m just flabbergasted by the news. A 34 year old man from the southern city of Antalya, Atilla Kavdir, died this week after a medical team in the Antalya university hospital sewed two donated arms to his body. ‘Arm transplant’, it was called. The doctor leading the medical team, Prof. Ömer Özkan, appeared on TV saying it was unfortunate the patient died but that as a medical team they had gained valuable experience. Sounds to me like human beings are used as guinea pigs here.

Two arms, two legs

It gets even weirder when you know that another limb transplant patient died this year, at another university hospital. They sewed two arms and two legs onto the man in one huge operation. His body rejected them all, so they had to take them off again and the man lost his life. After that, an investigation into the matter was conducted by the Ministry of Health. Detail: the investigation also focuses on rumours that the two doctors, trained at the same hospital at the same time, are competing in some kind of spectacular transplant contest.

Prof. Ömer Özkan is an award-winning doctor. He is surrounded by an aura of successfulness in a new field. It’s about time to look beyond the successful image. Pending the outcome of the investigation into the earlier case and into this case – I at least assume the Ministry and also the hospital will want to get to the bottom of this – Ömer Özkan should go home and not perform any surgery. In the meantime all spectacular transplants should be put on hold, as of course should have been done already after the earlier death.


Medicine is not about winning awards, it’s not about making headlines with spectacular transplants and great marketing for your hospital, it’s about the health and the lives of human beings. Any doctor losing sight of that should be thrown out of the profession.

2 replies
  1. Candide
    Candide says:

    Here it is your typical reaction Frederike. When it comes to things about Turkey you just show the bad/negative side of it to your readers (so as I am telling again YOU ARE MANIPULATING YOUR READERS).
    However when it comes to Kurdish issue your empathy is limitless…

    I think you already lost your sight.

    So you’d better question yourself before questioning the doctors.

    I don’t tell you are wrong or right. I am skeptical too about this transplant issue. However I find medical science a bit complex to draw conclusions immediately. I don’t get how easy you draw your conclusion and I don’t like your approach on the controversial topics.

    Finally I read the declaration of Ömer Özkan as well. He was telling that operation was successful and the patient was discharged from the hospital then something went wrong that they could not foresee so that’s why they are sad and it was an important lesson/experience for them that they have to be careful about the process after the discharge from the hospital.

    Personally I don’t find doctors very emotional and that declaration was nothing extraordinary. Of course it is up to you to twist it and manipulate your readers 😉

    Finally I did not know that you know Turkish that well to hear what the guy is saying on TV and understand it completely…

  2. Candide
    Candide says:

    I am seeing on this page on right hand side 411 Blogs and 225 Stories. I haven’t read all of them of course but I am following you for some time and I haven’t read any anything that gives a bit of good impression about Turkey.
    What a horrible country Turkey is. Turkish people are demons that do bad things and in their free-time they suppress Kurds etc.

    I accept that there are lots of problems but chill out a bit Frederike. There must be a few good thing as well. Maybe you can just add 1 positive article between 500 negative ones. I am sure you can do that if you are a bit fair and if you think other than oriental approach is profitable for you 😉

    For instance in this article you don’t mention recent face transplant that was quite a success. I saw it in many international news channels so I believe it is something remarkable. To show my standing point I just said cool. I am not too proud of it or reckless about it.

    Of course you are free to keep your ORIENTALIST view on Turkey. You are free to see things based on the belief and image on your mind. You are free to question sight of the doctors rather than your own sight. But please do us a favor and show some respect to intelligence of people here.


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