A 46 year old Jewish doctor from Paderborn, Germany abandoned a patient and refused to perform surgery on him after he saw a tattoo with the Nazi Party Symbol in the patient’s arm. The Jewish Chronicle, which exposed the affair, claims that when the 38 year old patient arrived for surgery, the doctor saw thet symbol on his arm, the same symbol that the Nazi Party adopted during World War II.
It was also reported that the doctor told the patient’s wife that he was Jewish and that his conscience forbade him from performing surgery on the patient. When a different doctor arrived, the surgery was performed and the patient was transferred to the recovery room.
It should be noted that throughout the affair, the patient’s life was not in imminent danger. The incident nevertheless spawned a heated debate amongst the German medical community. Some doctors who expressed their opinion held that the doctor violated the Hippocratic Oath through his actions, an oath that requires every doctor to give medical treatment to everyone regardless of religion, race, or sex.
On the other hand, some voices were heard in support of the doctor’s actions, and claimed that since the doctor had a moral, conscientious objection to the tattoo, that prevented him from granting the appropriate medical treatment to the patient. More than that, they also emphasized that it was the doctor’s right not to treat him and that he did the right thing by leaving the room.
One way or the other, the tattooed patient will be put on trial as according to German law, it is forbidden to tattoo Nazi symbols on one’s body. The punishment for such a crime is three years.