FACT CHECK: Did Ursula Von Der Leyen Call For ‘Throwing Out’ The Nuremberg Code?

Charlese Freeman | Contributor

An image shared on Instagram claims Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Union’s European Commission, called for “throwing out” the Nuremberg Code.


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A post shared by @vegan.lesbian.patriots

Verdict: False 

There is no record of von der Leyen calling to get rid of the Nuremberg Code.

Fact Check: 

The Instagram post features a screen grab of an article titled “On The Heels of Austria and Germany Locking Down The Unvaccinated, EU Leader Calls For Throwing Out Nuremberg Code In Favor of Forced Vaccinating All Dissenters” that was published by Gateway Pundit. That outlet has published inaccurate claims in the past, some of which have been debunked by Check Your Fact.

In mid-November, Austria instituted restrictions on people who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, barring them from leaving their homes except for essential reasons, NPR reported. Last week, the German government also announced a lockdown for unvaccinated individuals, according to CNN.

But, contrary to the Instagram post’s claim, von der Leyen did not call for “throwing out” the Nuremberg Code “in favor of forced vaccinating all dissenters.” The claim appears to be a misrepresentation of comments she made during a Dec. 1 press conference about addressing challenges related to COVID-19.

“This is pure member state competence, therefore in respect to that, it’s not me to give any kind of recommendation,” von der Leyen said in response to a question about mandatory COVID-19 vaccination, according to video of the press conference.

“I think it is understandable and appropriate to lead this discussion right now, how we can encourage and potentially think about mandatory vaccination within the European Union,” she said a couple minutes later in the press conference. “This needs discussion, this needs a common approach, but it is a discussion that I think has to be led.”

At no point in the press conference does she talk about the Nuremberg Code, a review by Check Your Fact found. A call for “throwing out” the Nuremberg Code also doesn’t appear on her verified Twitter account. (RELATED: Does This Video Show Australians Cheering At Former New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s Resignation?)

Darragh Cassidy, a spokesperson for the European Commission, told Check Your Fact, “No, this is not true,” when asked about the viral Instagram post’s claim.

The Nuremberg Code was established in 1947 after World War II to protect people from involuntary and unethical medical experimentation. Its 10 points can be found on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Research Integrity website. Other fact-checking organizations such as Reuters and the Associated Press have addressed claims about COVID-19 vaccines and the Nuremberg Code in the past.

Charlese Freeman