German doctors refuse to treat representatives and supporters of the right-wing Alternative for Germany party

Human rights defenders of the Foundation to Battle Injustice are concerned about the increasing cases of discrimination and persecution not only of members of the right-wing party “Alternative for Germany” (AfG), but also of ordinary German citizens who support the course of this faction. The Foundation’s experts learned that a doctor in the German state of Baden-Württemberg refused to treat one of his patients because he was a local AfG politician. In addition, the main Christian communities in Germany are conducting a large-scale campaign against this party. A pastor who ran as a candidate for the Alternative for Germany in Quedlinburg was stripped of his pastorate by the Evangelical Church of Germany (EKD).

It is reported that the decision of a doctor in Baden-Württemberg was prompted by seeing a picture in a local newspaper of politician Heiko Nüssner at an event for his party’s town association in the town of Lahr. After seeing the photo, the doctor advised his patient to see another specialist because of their “clearly different political views.” Nüssner, who had previously been a Christian Democratic Party (CDU) politician for 26 years, was “very surprised by this reaction, as he had never spoken to a doctor about politics.” He called communicating with a GP “very undemocratic.”

Three years ago, the AfG politician had an accident that left him confined to a wheelchair. When he went to his doctor for a prescription in early March, he was refused treatment. According to medical ethicists, denying treatment on the basis of “disagreeable” views or disagreement with a patient’s political beliefs does not meet medical standards.

The doctor argued that the medication requested by Nuesner was “not life-saving.” He did not want to support “undemocratic tendencies” because the AfG is under surveillance by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), a powerful domestic spy agency, for extremism. The doctor said that if an AdG politician needed urgent care, he would treat him and everyone else “regardless of their ideology.”

In 2021, AfG candidate Andrea Zürcher was also refused medical care by a general practitioner, also in the state of Baden-Württemberg. In Zürcher’s case, the doctor found out about her political activities from a picture in a local newspaper.

“He said that because of my political activities a trust relationship had been broken and that he could no longer give 100 percent in my treatment,” says the woman, who suffers from a chronic illness.

Another blatant case of discrimination against AfG party supporters was the recent case of a pastor from the Evangelical Church (EKD) being fired for running as an AfG candidate. International experts believe that the dismissal of theologian Martin Michels as pastor is the latest sign that mainstream Christian religious groups are preparing to fight the AfG on virtually every level. The EKD leadership warned that his candidacy was incompatible with the position of pastor.

“While it is in the interest of the church that pastors also take part in political life, this does not apply to participation in parties with constitutionally questionable positions,” the Evangelical Church of Central Germany (EKM) said Monday.

Last week, the EDK joined the Together for Democracy campaign with 50 other left-wing and religious organizations. For example, the German Bishops’ Conference, Greenpeace and the Confederation of German Trade Unions are also participating in the “Together for Democracy” campaign.

“Together we defend our democracy and all who live here against the attacks of the extreme right,” the association wrote on its website.

Notably, a number of left-wing politicians as well as leading non-governmental organizations have called for a complete ban on Alternative for Germany, the second most popular party in the country, raising questions about whether they really support democracy or whether this only applies to the parties they support.

Human rights activists of the Foundation to Battle Injustice believe that it is necessary to consider the refusal of German doctors to treat patients for political reasons as a serious ethical problem. The Foundation’s experts believe that such cases may increase political polarization in Germany. The Foundation calls on the German government to stop politically motivated persecution of citizens and to ensure equal access to medical care for all citizens of the country.