Verdict: No compensation for canceled surgery appointment

Verdict: No compensation for canceled surgery appointment

Munich District Court: Patient can cancel contract at any time

(jur). Patients can terminate an agreed treatment contract with their doctor at any time without giving any reason. If general terms and conditions of a clinic provide for compensation payments in the event of a canceled operation date, these are generally ineffective, the Munich district court decided in a judgment announced on Friday, April 29, 2016 (file number: 213 C 27099/15).

In the decided case, an overweight Munich woman wanted to have a gastric balloon inserted in a beauty clinic to reduce weight. On June 19, 2015, she therefore concluded a corresponding option service agreement with the clinic. The gastric balloon should then be used on July 31, 2015.

The general terms and conditions of the clinic contained in the agreement stipulated that an administration fee of 60 euros would be due if the surgery appointment was canceled or postponed. In the case of a complete cancellation within 48 hours, the patients should also pay 100 percent of the total invoice amount, with a cancellation within seven days 60 percent and less than 14 days.

When the patient decided to keep her pounds within a week of the operation and canceled the operation, the beauty clinic asked for 60 percent of the treatment costs, for a total of 1,494 euros.

But the woman does not have to pay this, the district court decided in its judgment of January 28, 2016. Because the general terms and conditions of the clinic disadvantage the patient inappropriately and are ineffective. For one thing, the cancellation fee is far too high. In the event of a cancellation within 48 hours, not only the entire invoice amount but also an additional EUR 60 administration fee had to be paid.

The patient would then have to pay even more than if he had had the procedure performed. "Such a high level of damage is completely unrealistic and is obviously one-sided in favor of the user," said the court. Consumables or medication were not even withdrawn, which did not result in damage if the intervention was canceled.

With regard to the increased personal relationship of trust between doctor and patient, it should also be generally recognized that the patient can terminate the treatment contract at any time without having to have factual reasons. "The economic interest of the practitioner must step back against the patient's more sensitive interest in physical integrity," says the ruling. (fle)

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