Practice Relating to Rule 25. Medical Personnel
Section A. Respect for and protection of medical personnel
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) defines military medical personnel with reference to the relevant provisions of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and of the 1977 Additional Protocol I.
The manual provides: “Civilian and military medical personnel are entitled to special protection. They shall neither be made the object of attack nor prevented from exercising their functions.”
The manual considers offences such as “wilful killing, mutilation, torture or inhumane treatment, including biological experiments, wilfully causing great suffering, serious injury to body or health” committed against medical personnel, to be grave breaches of IHL.
Germany’s Soldiers’ Manual (2006) states: “Medical personnel exclusively assigned to medical purposes are under the special protection of international humanitarian law.”
In a declaration in 1993, the German Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs condemned the killing of a German soldier belonging to UNTAC’s medical personnel in Cambodia as a “cruel act of violence”.
The Report on the Practice of Germany notes that the German Federal Armed Forces may incorporate medical staff into combat units, if they are needed, especially for special missions.