• Germany edition
 
German Catholic school in rectal pill rights row
Photo: Alcibiades/Wikipedia

German Catholic school in rectal pill rights row

Published: 07 May 2012 16:11 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 May 2012 16:11 GMT+02:00

The Collegium Josephinum (CoJoBo) in Bonn, a private school for around 1,200 boys, is struggling to maintain its reputation for excellence. One of the teachers, who was also a priest, was recently suspended pending an investigation into allegations that he sexually abused two of its pupils.

The investigation threw a spotlight on the school's medical service. For decades, the school followed the practice, common in Germany, of giving children painkiller suppositories for a variety of non-specific ailments – migraines, stomach aches, sprained joints.

"They were only ever administered in acute cases, only in the medical office, and only in the presence of a third party," school director Peter Billig told Monday’s Der Spiegel magazine.

He said there was little alternative. "Injections can only be given by doctors, and tablets take significantly longer to take effect,” he said.

But that did not stop Bonn city council from commissioning a report into when suppositories can or should be given to children or young people. Its result was somewhat embarrassing for the CoJoBo school.

"An emergency administration of a suppository for children older than toddler age is, from a medical point-of-view, a contradiction in terms," criticised Dominique Singer, of the Hamburg-Eppendorf University hospital, who helped write the report.

"Either it is a real... emergency, in which case suppositories are not effective enough, or the suppositories have a certain effect alleviating symptoms, in which case it is not an emergency."

Singer went on to say that administering suppositories was highly unusual after a certain age. She also criticised in-school medical services generally, because they offer a false sense of security and could delay the proper diagnosis of serious illnesses.

But another independent report, conducted by Cologne educational sociologist Michaela Schumacher, said that the CoJoBo school had always made "responsible use of this unusual medication," and that there had been no "sexual association" in its administration.

Jürgen L., the priest responsible for medical care at the school, told the magazine that rectal medication had only been administered once since 2010, and that was with parental consent. He underlined that it was only ever used in emergency situations.

The city council is now calling for another independent inquiry into the concrete allegations against the school, and an investigation into its medical care facilities.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:22 May 7, 2012 by royp
: This must be a joke, talk about getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar-( boys rectum).But I bet this has cured boys faking illness, as treatment means making a major lifestyle choice. Kind of funney if you are not the kid getting treated with the rectal pills. I mean come on what medical emergency is so urgent that it cannot wait the hour for normal pain pills, does not need a hospital visit, but rather a rectal pill is the only answer. But what this article fails to explain is what did the boys in the article think, was this traetment real or a punishment or a prient getting his jollys? did the boys request this treatment, as the article says this is normal in Germany? did they insert it themselves? this article lacks sufficient info to make any informed judgement. Maybe this was just harmless normal treatment, for Germans?
19:06 May 7, 2012 by iseedaftpeople
>For decades, the school followed the practice, common in Germany, of giving children painkiller suppositories for a variety of non-specific ailments ­ migraines, stomach aches, sprained joints.

oh yeah, like this is so not pedophilic.

What a load of nonsense.

Catholic priests shoving suppositories up a child's bum *wink* "against the pain" *wink wink*

I attended a public non-church elementary school in Germany, and I don't think this was ever done, or even heard of, period. It was never "common" in Germany. Give me a break.
20:12 May 7, 2012 by Englishted
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
20:25 May 7, 2012 by rosenthalenglish
iseedaftpeople-You are wrong.This is a method used for babies and toddlers in Germany when giving analgesia.We come from the UK where I was trained as a nurse in the RAF.We were shocked just how much this practise was used for young children.With 6 of our own we keep to the UK way of Parcetomal or Ibuprofen syrup for the small ones and tablets for the older ones.
03:48 May 8, 2012 by vonSchwerin
OMG! You mean the Germans think it's okay to shove something up a child's arse for something as routine as a headache or stomach upset? I'm sure that goes over well with a cranky child. This is patently absurd. What is wrong with acetaminophen syrup?
08:10 May 8, 2012 by Kiki somewhere in LaLa land
Actually Chango it is a common method of drug administration in France & most of Europe. It's just us Brits that have a problem with it. As I chemist I can tell you that it is a better method as far as drig effectiveness is concerned , taken orally a drug goes through the 'first pass effect' i.e through the stomach & liver where it is broken down somewhat before a reduced amount enters the bloodstream. Given rectally the drug goes straight into the bloodstream therefore it's effect is felt quicker & more efficiently. Also a small child is likely to spit/vomit out an oral drug whereas a suppostory easily glides in & causes no distress. Simples!
13:56 May 10, 2012 by Jeffvm
I have no problems with the medicine administration method, worked fine for me when I was ill as a child - but please please keep Catholic priests/nuns away from children, especially naked ones.
Today's headlines
Germany's first Iraq arms delivery is ready
The weapons are ready to be sent. Photo: Bundeswehr/Pulpanek

Germany's first Iraq arms delivery is ready

Germany’s military said on Thursday it was ready to send its first shipment of arms to Kurds fighting Islamic extremists Isis in northern Iraq. READ  

Police find dead baby in train station locker
The lockers at Hamburg central station. Photo: DPA

Police find dead baby in train station locker

Police in Hamburg found the body of a baby hidden in a train station locker on Thursday morning. The woman believed to be its mother is in psychiatric care. READ  

German of the Week
Munich's mayor practices for Oktoberfest
Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter. Photo: DPA

Munich's mayor practices for Oktoberfest

Dieter Reiter has been in office for less than five months and will this week take on one of the Munich mayor's most important duties - tapping the first keg at Oktoberfest. He is only the city's second mayor in the last 21 years. READ  

Europeans descended from three tribes
The skull of a farmer from Stuttgart examined for the study. Photo: Joanna Drath, University of Tübingen

Europeans descended from three tribes

German researchers have traced the origins of modern Europeans to a migratory melting pot of three ancient tribes dating back 8,000 years. READ  

Germans return 'stolen' parts of Great Pyramid
The pyramids at Giza. Photo: DPA

Germans return 'stolen' parts of Great Pyramid

Fragments of the Great Pyramid of Giza, which were allegedly stolen by German archaeologists last year, have been returned to Egypt from Germany. But the case against those who allegedly took the samples is continuing. READ  

Oktoberfest 2014
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents
Photo: DPA

Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents

There are 14 "tents" at Munich's Oktoberfest, all with their own uniqueness and theme. In the second of The Local's four-part guide to the world's biggest beer festival, we look at some of the best ones. READ  

Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg
Photo: DPA

Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg

A school trip was cancelled after just one day when two teachers got so drunk while they were supposed to be looking after pupils in Hamburg that police had to be called. READ  

Where to find the speed cameras today
Photo: DPA

Where to find the speed cameras today

Police deployed 13,000 officers across Germany on Thursday to catch speeding drivers in a so called "Blitzmarathon". Here is where the radar guns are. READ  

US WWII bomb forces 11,000 from homes
The area of the town centre evacuated. Photo: Lüneberg Stadt

US WWII bomb forces 11,000 from homes

Thousands of people in the centre of an historic town in central Germany had to leave their homes late on Wednesday evening after a 250kg bomb was found. READ  

Who is listening to Berlin's music?
Photo: DPA

Who is listening to Berlin's music?

A study by music-streaming service Spotify has revealed the global reach of Berlin-born music, with genres originating in the capital finding a loyal audience in some unlikely places. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Oktoberfest 2014: The best and worst in dirndl fashion
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Education
German universities tumble in global rankings
Photo: DPA
Tech
Netflix launches in Germany (in English too)
Photo: DPA
Politics
These men want to be the next mayor of Berlin
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA/ESA
Tech
VIDEO: How one German astronaut sees Earth
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Photo: Bayernpartei/DPA
Politics
Why some Bavarians want a Scottish 'Yes'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
12 things to do in Berlin for less than a latte
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,363
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd