Doctor gave fake exemption notes to thousands of people who didn’t want to wear masks
A German doctor has been sent to prison and banned from practising after she gave medical exceptions to mask-wearing rules to thousands of people she hadn’t examined.
A court in the town of Weinheim in southern Germany found the 58-year-old doctor guilty, in more than 4,000 cases, of handing out fake doctor’s notes to people who refused to wear medical masks during the pandemic.
In most cases she neither met the people in person nor examined their medical records, the court found.
Her actions were “more reminiscent of a sale than a medical procedure,” the court found.
As well as sentencing her to jail, the court ordered her to pay a fine of €28,000 and banned her from practising her profession for a three-year period.
In Germany, people convicted of less serious crimes, or crimes where there is not an overriding public interest, have a right to have their names kept out of press reports.
Doctor ‘acted for ethical reasons’
During the trial, the doctor’s legal team had argued that masks are harmful to human health and said that her client had acted for ethical reasons.
“There are things that you don’t need to examine. If you take away my ability to breathe you don’t need a physical check-up to confirm that,” lawyer Beate Bahner told broadcaster ARD outside the courthouse.
She said that her client intends to appeal the decision.
Outside the court, over a hundred people gathered in support of the doctor, with protesters carrying signs reading “masks make you sick” or “human dignity has been infringed upon”.
This is the second time a German doctor has been jailed for handing out false medical certificates during the pandemic.
Germany still requires masks on public transport
In November, a Bavarian doctor was handed a one-year sentence and ordered to pay a €50,000 fine for providing medical exceptions to mask rules to children.
In several other cases, doctors have been fined for providing patients with fake exemptions to mask rules or with falsified vaccine passports.
As was the case in many countries, masks became a symbol in Germany for what opponents of Covid restrictions saw as illegitimate infringements of their rights.
Demonstrations against the restrictions were often broken up by police because participants refused to obey the requirement to wear a medical mask.
Germany is one of the few countries in Europe that still requires mask wearing on public transport.