Accused alternative practitioner in court (archive image)
Photo: Sven Hoppe / dpa
An alternative practitioner has to pay 30,000 euros in compensation for pain and suffering to her five-year-old son after a patient dies from cancer.
The Higher Regional Court (OLG) Munich decided in a landmark judgment.
The boy's father had originally asked the alternative practitioner of his deceased partner's deceased partner to pay 170,000 euros for the child.
The woman suffering from cervical cancer had - despite good treatment prospects - stopped radiotherapy and chemotherapy and instead relied on preparations made from snake venom, which she received from her naturopath.
It was the patient's free will to stop the radiation therapy, said the naturopath.
On the contrary, she even asked the woman if she could not imagine resuming this therapy: "Feel yourself."
"This failure of the defendant to continue for weeks was irresponsible"
Munich Higher Regional Court
"The defendant did not actively advise her patient to discontinue life-saving radiation therapy," the OLG also found.
"But she did not oppose her emerging decision about what would have been her job as a non-medical practitioner." From the court's point of view, she should have advised her patients to resume chemotherapy.
"This failure by the defendant, which continued for weeks, was irresponsible and, from the point of view of a responsible alternative practitioner, absolutely incomprehensible."
In addition to the compensation for pain and suffering, she was sentenced to pay damages for lost child support.
The court did not allow an appeal against the judgment.
A criminal investigation by the public prosecutor's office against the naturopath on charges of negligent homicide had been discontinued.
The Regional Court of Passau had dismissed the lawsuit, the plaintiff appealed against the judgment.
At the beginning of the process at the Higher Regional Court in May 2020, the presiding judge Thomas Steiner appealed to the parties to the dispute to come to an agreement.
wit / dpa