Frankfurt am Main - Because of the restraint and compulsory medication of psychiatric patient despite lack of judicial approval, the state of Hesse has to pay the woman 12,000 euros in compensation for pain and suffering. In decision published today (Az. 8 U 59/18), the higher regional court (OLG) Frankfurt am Main ruled that the fixations were unlawful due to the lack of approval by judge. The same applies to the compulsory treatment of the plaintiff.
The patient concerned was admitted to the psychiatric department of hospital against her will in 2014 and was partially restrained and treated with medication during her two-week stay in the clinic. Such restraint was not covered by the judicial placement order, found the Frankfurt OLG. The forced treatment of the woman was also unlawful for the same reason.
In July 2018, the Federal Constitutional Court () had ruled that the five- and seven-point restraint of patients in hospitals and psychiatric hospitals by - at least if it lasts longer than half an hour.
The constitutional authorities recognized that such restraints sometimes also for short time are necessary. Nevertheless, the restraint of the body, if it exceeds half an hour, represents deprivation of liberty for the patient. The federal states then revised their legal regulations.
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The country - and not the hospital, for example - has to compensate for the damage, because the accommodation of the mentally ill serves to protect public security and order and is therefore state responsibility. The district court had previously dismissed the lawsuit. The judgment of the OLG cannot be challenged.
The OLG did not provide any information on the patient's age for reasons of privacy protection. It was also not known which clinic it was.