Sağlık Mesleği Mensuplarının Suçu Bildirmemesi Suçu (TCK m 280)Levent Emre Özgüç
Bu çalışmada, 5237 sayılı Türk Ceza Kanunu’nun 280. maddesinde düzenlenen “Sağlık Mesleği Mensuplarının Suçu Bildirmemesi” suçu ele alınmaktadır. Suç kanunun ikinci kitabının “Millete ve Devlete Karşı Suçlar” başlıklı dördüncü kısmının “Adliyeye Karşı Suçlar” başlıklı ikinci bölümünde yer almaktadır ve 765 sayılı mülga Türk Ceza Kanunu’nun “Cürmü Haber Vermekte Zühul” başlıklı 530. maddesinin karşılığıdır. 5237 sayılı TCK m 280 uyarınca, görevi sırasında belirtisiyle karşılaştığı bir suçu yetkili makamlara bildirmeyen veya bildirimde gecikme gösteren sağlık mesleği mensubu hapis cezasıyla cezalandırılmaktadır. Suç tanımında bildirim yükümlülüğünün doğmasına neden olacak suçlara ilişkin herhangi bir sınırlama yapılmamış olması sağlık mesleği mensuplarının oldukça geniş bir yükümlülükle karşı karşıya kalmasına sebep olmuştur. Suçun incelenmesi sırasında düzenlemeye ilişkin tartışmalar hakkında bilgi verilmiştir. Bu kapsamda suçla korunan hukuki değerin ne olduğu, failin sahip olması gereken sağlık mesleği mensubu kavramının kimleri kapsadığı, aynı zamanda kamu görevlisi olan sağlık mesleği mensuplarının suç bakımından durumları, suç işlendiğini gösteren belirti kavramının anlamı, belge ve beyanların bu kapsamda olup olmayacağı, suçun olası kastla işlenip işlenemeyeceği, sağlık mesleği mensubunun sır saklama yükümlülüğü, tanıklıktan çekinme hakkı veya tedavi yükümlülüğünün suçta hukuka aykırılığı kaldıran neden sayılıp sayılmayacağı, TCK m 280 ile benzer yükümlülükleri düzenleyen suçlar arasındaki içtima ilişkisi gibi hususlar çözülmeye çalışılmıştır.
The Crime of Failure by Medical Professionals to Report an Offence (TCC Art. 280)Levent Emre Özgüç
The topic of analysis of this paper is the crime of “Failure by Medical Professionals to Report an Offence”, found in article 280 of the Turkish Criminal Code numbered 5237. The crime is situated in the second part, titled “Crimes against the Judiciary”, under the fourth section, titled “Crimes against the Nation and the State”, under the second book of the Code, and is the equivalent of Article 530 of the annulled Turkish Criminal Code numbered 765. Pursuant to Art. 280, medical professionals who encounter an indication pointing towards a crime in the course of their duties, and do not notify the authorities of that fact or show delay in their notifications, are punishable by imprisonment. The lack of any limitation concerning the encountered crime which would create the obligation to report caused the medical professionals to face an obligation of substantial extent. Throughout the analysis of the crime, the doctrinal discussions concerning the crime are evaluated. In this context, the topics such as the norm’s protected legal value, the scope of the term medical professional, the status of medical professionals in the public sector, the definition of the term indication in relation to the crime and whether documents and statements are included, whether the crime is committable by probable intent, whether the patient-doctor privilege, the right to be excused from testifying or the obligation to give treatment are justifications for the crime, and the rules of aggregation between TCC Art. 280 and similar crimes are explained.
In this paper, the crime of “Failure by Medical Professionals to Report an Offence” in Article 280 of the Turkish Criminal Code numbered 5237, is evaluated through the examination of its protected legal value, its objective and subjective elements, the legal justifications and excuses applicable to the crime, the issues of attempt, aggregation, participation and the adjudication procedure of the crime. The crime aims to protect the effectiveness of judicial functions, with the purposes of providing an effective investigation of crimes, realizing the purposes of criminal law, and protecting public order. Pursuant to Art. 280, only a person who is a medical professional may commit the crime. The definition of the term “medical professional” is to be solved in light of the relevant legislation, especially the Codes numbered 657 and 1219. This paper argues that medical professionals in both public and private sectors may be perpetrators, even though the prevailing opinion is that only medical professionals who are not public officials may commit Art. 280. There are no limitations as to which types of offences the medical professionals must encounter for the obligation to report to be born, except the case of effective remorse in the crime found in Article 191. The patient of the medical professional may be the perpetrator, the victim or a mere witness. However, the encountered offence must constitute a crime, therefore misdemeanors or torts do not create the obligation to report. The medical professional must encounter an indication pointing towards the commission of an offence. The term “indication” used in the original letter of the law points towards material evidence, which caused the Turkish literature on the crime to argue that only encountering material and circumstantial evidence would cause the obligation to report, but statements or documents pointing to the offence do not. However, this paper is in the view that such a distinction was not the aim of the legislator and would lead to erroneous consequences. After encountering an indication in the course of duty as a medical professional, the failure to notify or delay in doing so constitutes the crime in Article 280. The meaning of authorities shall be interpreted in accordance with Art. 158 of the Criminal Procedure Code. There is a delay when significant obstacles in the investigation occur because of the failure to report. The crime may be committed with direct or probable intent. In any case, the intent must extend to all objective elements of the crime. The right to be silent may be exercised with regards to crimes committed by individuals covered by the right. However, in light of Art. 23 of the Regulation on Patient Rights, the patient-doctor privilege may not be asserted when a legal obligation in conflict exists. While medical doctors are required to report the indication they have encountered, they may be excused from testifying pursuant to Art. 46 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Lastly, the will of the individual from whom the crime is learnt is insignificant, even when that individual is the victim and the investigation of the crime is bound to legal complaint. Rules of attempt may not be applied to Art. 280 because of the crime’s nature. Additionally, the crime may only be perpetrated by medical professionals, but other individuals who do not hold this title may participate in the commission of the crime by aiding to or instigating the commission. A discussion exists whether Arts. 278, 279 and 280 have the relationship of general and specific norms. The view presented in this paper is that Art. 278 is a general norm to both 279 and 280, but such a relationship may not be established between the latter two. The issue of aggregation of these two types of crimes is to be solved through the application of the rules of conceptual aggregation. Other possible crimes to be aggregated with Art. 280 are Art. 257 (misconduct of duty by a public official), Art. 252 (bribery) and Art. 210 (falsification of an official document). The punishment prescribed in Art. 280 is imprisonment to one year. As this is a short-term prison sentence, it may be converted to alternative sanctions pursuant to Art. 50 of the TCC. Additionally, the announcement of the sentence may be deferred in line with the rules provided in Art. 231 of the Criminal Procedure Code, or the execution of the sentence may be deferred pursuant to Art. 51 of the TCC.