No refund for shaman treatment

Verdict: Shamanic treatment is non-refundable

A cancer patient tried to sue the cost of what she considered to be a shaman treatment and failed before the 16th Senate of the Higher Regional Court in Cologne. The court also dismissed an action for damages. The reasoning in the judgment stated that the applicant "should have been aware that it would have left the bottom of the secured scientific knowledge". A guaranteed promise of healing on the part of the defendant was therefore not possible (Az. OLG Cologne 16 U 80/12).

In the negotiated case, a cancer patient failed to sue the costs of shamanic treatment. With the help of a website, the plaintiff contacted a woman who, together with her husband and father-in-law, promoted shamanic treatments on her website. These take place in a camp in the Peruvian forest. The applicant then went on a trip to Peru to carry out the shamanic treatments with plants and juices. A total of five weeks were estimated for the therapy and the treatment should be carried out by the father-in-law.

The patient registered herself and her husband for the trip and therapy. The cost was 4420 euros per person. In addition, the couple spent 4028 euros on the flights to Lima. Because the plaintiff seemed to find the situation on site unacceptable, the patient discontinued the treatment and left prematurely. According to the plaintiff, the hoped for therapy success also failed to materialize. The plaintiff now wanted to claim travel expenses and damages from the organizer.

The Higher Regional Court ruled that reimbursement of the costs is out of the question. In the course of taking evidence, it could not be proven that the patient has concluded a travel contract with the organizer. In addition, there is no liability claim against the defendant. The defendant is not responsible for the local situation in Peru. Nor can the defendant be held responsible for the circumstances in which the treatment took place. The defendant was also not deceived about the locations, the court said. Appropriate prospects for the cancer patient's chances of recovery were not considered a binding promise. The spouses should have been aware that the shamanic treatments leave the ground of scientific knowledge. For this reason too, no sure promise of healing could have been made. The judgment is final and can no longer be challenged. (sb)

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