A private clinic in Munich has apologized for a letter published earlier this month in which it announced its doctors would no longer treat Russian or Belarusian nationals, in a bizarre showing of solidarity with Ukraine.
First reported by German tabloid Bild, the Iatros Clinic received criticism for its letter in which it stated: “We strongly condemn the invasion of the Russian army with the help of the Belarusian government. Russia threatens our freedom and democracy. Therefore, from now on and until further notice, no Russian and Belarusian citizens will be treated by us.”
The move sparked outrage by many online users who took to Facebook and Google to criticize the clinic, reminding its doctor staff of the Hippocratic oath to indiscriminately treat those in need.
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The clinic initially refused to respond to telephone and written requests by media and the wider public, however it eventually released a statement on the letter on Tuesday in which it acknowledged that the “original thought was not fully thought through.”
“We intended to show sympathy for the Ukrainian people and, like other companies have done, to sever business ties with Russia and show support,” the clinic explained.
“The character of our letter has been rightly criticized by several people. We fully accept this criticism. We do not want to discriminate or exclude patients because of their origin. We apologize for giving this impression,” the institution added.
The statement did not explicitly say it was reversing the sentiments expressed in the letter, although it was albeit implied. The clinic did however reveal that it would be donating €10,000 to the Doctors Without Borders NGO as a gesture of goodwill and solidarity with those undertaking humanitarian missions in Ukraine.