Unaccompanied refugee minors in German class in Brandenburg. Photo: DPA
Following a recent murder involving a ‘teen’ refugee suspect, conservative politicians want medical tests for all asylum seekers who claim to be minors. But the German Medical Association says such tests are unethical.
The German Medical Association has rejected a Christian Social Union (CSU) proposal for mandatory medical examinations to determine the age of asylum seekers.
“Ordering such an exam on every refugee would be an invasion of personal well-being,” the association’s president Frank Ulrich Montgomery told Süddeutsche Zeitung.
CSU Bundestag (German parliament) members plan to decide during their closed session, which starts this Thursday, whether to enforce medical exams to assess the age of all alleged minor refugees.
This proposal comes after violence in Kandel, Rhineland-Palatinate, in which a 15-year-old Afghani boy – who had come unaccompanied to Germany in 2016 as an asylum seeker – is suspected to have fatally stabbed his 15-year-old girlfriend.
READ ALSO: Teen suspected of fatally stabbing girl was victim’s ex-boyfriend: investigator
After the case in Kandel, several Christian Democrats (CDU) and CSU politicians called for the age of refugees to be checked by means of an X-ray of the wrist.
But Montgomery argues that “X-ray without medical indication is an intervention in physical integrity.”
According to rules of radiation protection, age determination is only permissible within a criminal proceeding. In the case of the 15-year-old Afghani suspect, he could now legally undergo an X-ray exam to determine his age.
Genital exams can also be included in age determination procedures, which Montgomery said was “burdened with great uncertainty.”
In 2016, the central ethics commission of the German Medical Association had questioned both the reliability and constitutionality of medical age assessments.
SEE ALSO: ‘Teen’ asylum seeker on trial for Freiburg murder is 33, says father