Infection Protection Act: Medical association files constitutional complaint against triage rule

With the support of the Medical Association of the Marburger Bund, 14 emergency and intensive care doctors have filed a constitutional complaint against the Federal Infection Protection Act (IfSG). As announced by the Marburger Bund, the complaint filed before the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe is directed against the so-called triage rule contained in the law in the event of bottlenecks in the care of seriously ill patients. As a result, doctors are “forced to make borderline decisions that contradict their professional image and cause them flagrant problems of conscience.”

From the point of view of the plaintiffs, the IfSG thus violates the fundamental right to freedom of work (Art. 12, para. 1 GG) and that of freedom of conscience (Art. 4, al. 1, Var. 2 GG ).

The term triage describes a situation in which, in the event of a medical shortage, such as a lack of beds or ventilators, for example in a pandemic, doctors determine who will be treated first.

Medical association criticizes ambiguous decision-making rules

Specifically, the criticism targets, among other things, what the plaintiffs consider to be ambiguous regulations on the allocation of limited processing capacities. The vagueness of the entire procedure is said to cause great legal uncertainty for doctors who are forced to make a decision.

In addition, the ban on so-called ex post triage is criticized, according to which a decision to treat a patient once made cannot be reversed if a patient with a better chance of survival is subsequently admitted. The Marburger Bund sees this as a conflict with professional ethics: doctors are deprived of the opportunity to save as many people as possible in an emergency.

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