Duty of care towards the soldier
„Soldiers must accept occupational health hazards“
Recently, one could read in the mainstream media about the case of a sergeant major who refused a basic vaccination of the German Armed Forces because of an underlying disease and was therefore placed under arrest and „educated“ with disciplinary measures.
„Soldiers have to accept health hazards by profession – A sergeant major refuses a basic vaccination and is punished with arrest for it. Soon this could also apply to the new Corona vaccines.“, this wrote the FAZ on 18.01.2021.
„If a soldier refuses to obey orders to attend a vaccination appointment, this constitutes a service offense that may be punishable by disciplinary action. This has the 2nd Military Service Senate of the Federal Administrative Court (BVerwG) decided in a recently published decision (Beschl. v. 22.12.2020, Az. BVerwG 2 WNB 8.20),“ wrote LTO on 18.01.2021.
This decision of 22.12.2020 is very interesting, especially in the current Corona vaccination issue, because it underlines the importance of the obligation to tolerate vaccinations that exists for soldiers (The „obligation to tolerate“ vaccination and prophylactic measures was introduced in the German Armed Forces a few years ago and has its basis in § 17a paragraph 2 of the Soldiers Act. „Duldungspflicht“ means that soldiers are obliged to tolerate all instructed vaccination and prophylaxis measures).
Of course, the Corona vaccination requirement for soldiers is still a purely hypothetical assumption, but a worrying one. Because by the § 17a Abs. 2 SG one gives probably a free pass to the employer to „inoculate“ each experimental vaccination to a comparison group, which consists of healthy and young test persons. This is in fact the case with the SARS-CoV2 vaccination. This mRNA vaccine is purely experimental and is de facto still in the testing phase, no other vaccine came so quickly on the market without having been tested by several long-term studies on effectiveness and possible side effects and consequent damage. Must a soldier who has taken an oath to the Federal Republic of Germany and the German people, really be a guinea pig because of his oath and allow himself to be vaccinated against his own will?
According to the leadership of the Central Medical Service, yes. But does a service commander really have the right to determine the physical integrity of a soldier? Especially since Corona is not the most deadly epidemic of the last three centuries and the effectiveness and damage of this vaccination are in no way researched or known?
The Ministry of Defense has issued a clear statement on this matter:
Vaccination in the German Armed Forces: „Duty to tolerate“ does not equal duty to vaccinate. The German Armed Forces are not currently required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, the armed forces‘ medical experts are constantly reviewing whether vaccinations against new diseases might be necessary to maintain operational capability. Studies of COVID- 19 are also underway to address this issue. … Key criteria will be service necessity and readiness – especially with regard to foreign deployments.
Basic decision on vaccinations in the German armed forces
The most recent decision of the Federal Administrative Court should be seen in this context. Ina decision (Case No. 2 WNB 8.20) dated December 22, 2020, the so-called „toleration obligation“ of servicemen and women for basic vaccination against classical diseases was confirmed.
The „obligation to tolerate“ vaccination and prophylactic measures was introduced in the German Armed Forces a few years ago and has its basis in Section 17a (2) SG.
Soldiers‘ personal reservations are taken seriously
In the case of vaccinations, the employer interferes with the soldier’s right to physical integrity. In Section 17a (2) of the Soldiers‘ Act, the legislator has expressly restricted the fundamental right to physical self-determination. However, the principle of proportionality must of course also be observed here in every case, especially with regard to possible side effects of vaccination.Section 17a (2) of the Soldiers‘ Act
The Department of Defense argues the preservation of mission readiness and the protection of the community to make any unnecessary vaccinations among soldiers unavoidable – but what about the duty to maintain the soldier’s health and the employer’s duty of care to the soldier?
Of course, it is the employer’s primary duty to promote, maintain and ensure the operational capability of the troops, but then an employer should also refrain from a vaccination, which is, to say the least, only an experimental immunization, and where it can be in the worst case that the soldiers become unfit for service due to the side effects or simply die. The government also has a responsibility to the soldiers and cannot decide over the heads of its citizens in uniform whether or not to get vaccinated just because it is on the WHO agenda.
At the latest after the incidents in Italy, where 3 civil servants died shortly after the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine, due to a brain hemorrhage, every employer should advise his subordinates against this vaccination and not offer flimsy therapies for brain hemorrhages as a solution.
The time when the German government could still conduct human experiments without fear of consequences is fortunately over and must never come back. Even a soldier or policeman is a human being who has a right to say no without fear of being disciplined or losing his job! People who do their service for their country are not guinea pigs and must not be abused for this purpose.