L. H. v. Latvia
European Court of Human Rights
29 April 2014
During the applicant’s Ms.L.H. delivery the doctor performed sterilization without her consent. Ms.L.H. started a civil law suit against the hospital. 7 years after the delivery of Ms.L.H. the hospital asked the Inspectorate of Quality Control for Medical Care and Fitness for Work (MADEKKI) to evaluate the medical treatment Ms.L.H. had received in the hospital. The MADEKKI started an inquiry and collected the applicant’s medical files from 3 different hospitals. Later the MADEKKI issued a report concluding that no law had been violated during the delivery of Ms.L.H.
Ms.L.H. complained that the inquiry of the MADEKKI violated her right to private life.
The Court ruled that the inquiry by the MADEKKI was not carried out in accordance with law, and therefore the applicant’s right to private and family life had been violated.
The Court found that:
- The national law was formulated in too general terms, namely, it did not limit in any way the scope of private data that could be collected by the MADEKKI.
- The collection of the applicant’s medical data was started seven years after the applicant’s sterilization, thus this lengthy delay raised a question whether the data was (still) relevant.
- The applicant had never been informed and consented to the collection and processing of her medical data by the MADEKKI.
- The applicant’s medical data was collected indiscriminately, without any prior assessment of whether the data collected would be “potentially decisive”, “relevant” or “of importance”.