Right to compensation after health care communication failure
Supreme Court judgment 25 June 2020, HR-2020-1332-A, (case no. 19-190669SIV-HRET), civil case, appeal against judgment.
The State represented by the Patients' Injury Compensation Board (Counsel Maria Kirkeeide Ravnå) v. A (Counsel Tom Sørum)
Justices: Møse, Matheson, Bergsjø, Falch, Steinsvik
A patient who had been examined for heart flutter, had not been informed that treatment with blood-thinning medicine to prevent a stroke was not considered necessary. According to good medical practice, he should have been consulted about this. The patient later incurred a stroke for a different reason than the heart flutter. There was agreement that blood-thinning treatment could not have prevented the stroke, but it could have limited the extent of the injury. A united Supreme Court found that the failure to inform the patient about the choice of treatment constituted a failure in the provision of health care, see section 2 subsection 1 (a) of the Patients' Injury Act. A majority of three justices found, however, that the added injury, which was not caused by the heart shutter for which the patient had been treated, was a too distant and derived consequence of the information failure for any liability to be established. A minority of two justices found that the added injury was an effect of the risk created by the failure in the provision of health care, and that the patient was entitled to damages. Dissenting votes 3-2.