The doctor was sentenced this week to two years and nine months in prison, handed a three-year work ban, and ordered to pay 28,000 euros ($29,550) for illegally issuing more than 4,000 people with exemptions from wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic. That is how much authorities figure the doctor made by providing medical certificates to people across Germany, most of whom she had never met or examined.
"The process is more reminiscent of a sale of certificates than a medical procedure," the court said in a statement.
Germany did away with requiring that people wear masks in many indoor settings just last year, but face coverings remain compulsory on long-distance train rides, in doctors' offices, nursing homes, and other areas.
Twila Brase, RN and president/co-founder of Minnesota-based Citizens' Council for Health Freedom, is glad that the physician's attorney is appealing the decision. She thinks preventing people from breathing freely is "a real infringement on the individual's right to live free."
"We should not have physicians being put in prison for doing something that they thought was best for the people that they were talking with," Brase submits. "Being imprisoned for providing a mask exemption for people who aren't your patients I think was an act of freedom, it was an act of resistance, and it was an act of compassion to the people who wanted to live and breathe free."
Research has shown that COVID rules, including face mask mandates, have negatively affected children's development, and Brase argues that imprisoning a person for refusing to take part in the inhumane treatment of others sets a bad precedent.
Dozens of people gathered this week outside the courthouse in Weinheim to show their support for the doctor and to protest Germany's pandemic restrictions.
"Hopefully what happens is that the attorney and the physician can make their case that it's actually vey harmful to mask people, that the masks didn't work, that the masks don't prevent infection, and that the masks have caused countless harms that we have not even begun to fully realize yet," adds Brase.
The court did not fault the physician for providing certificates to her existing patients.