Fact Check: Does the Nuremberg Code say ‘mandating masks on the citizens of a nation’ is a war crime?

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Quick Take

A social media post claims that ‘Leaders should be aware that mandating masks on the citizens of a nation and preventing their access to food, healthcare, transport or education if they don’t comply, is a war crime.’ We fact checked and found it to be False.

The Claim

The social media post shows a section of the Nuremberg Code which says “In no case should a collective agreement or the consent of a community leader or any other authority, substitute for an individuals informed consent”. 

It further reads “Leaders should be aware that mandating masks on the citizens of a nation and preventing their access to food, healthcare, transport or education if they don’t comply, is a war crime.” The post can be seen here.

Fact Check

What does the Nuremberg Code mean?

The Nuremberg Code is a set of research ethics principles for human experimentation created by the U.S. v Brandt court as a result of the Nuremberg trials at the end of the Second World War. 

Between 1945 and 1949, trials aimed at holding the Nazis accountable for the Holocaust were held in Nuremberg, Germany

According to the Harvard Law School’s Nuremberg Trials Project, during one of those trials, known as “the Doctors’ Trial”, several doctors and administrators were charged with war crimes for conducting forced medical experiments on concentration camp inmates.

Does the Nuremberg Code mention Face-masks?

No. The Nuremberg Code does not mention face masks and its provisions don’t apply to mask mandates.

The essence of the code is to prohibit experiments on human subjects without informed consent. Mask mandates are not experiments. The Nuremberg Code deals with medical experiments.

Can wearing masks be considered a war crime?

No. War crimes are behaviors that occur in the course of armed conflict. Neither the pandemic is an armed conflict nor does the Nuremberg Code mention face masks.

CDC states that the masks should be used by the general public and healthcare personnel to help reduce spread of Coronavirus. The Indian Govt. has also added usage of mask as a key guideline in the COVID appropriate behaviour.

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Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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