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Supreme Court of Denmark

Acquittal for libel 

Case no. 92/2014

Judgment delivered on 15 September 2015

The Danish Association of Midwives acting for A
Journalist B and editor-in-chief C

Statements in newspaper articles about midwife not unlawful

In 2007, midwife A helped treat a pregnant woman who had been admitted to the hospital due to pain. By mistake, A gave the woman an overdose of morphine, and the woman and her unborn child later died. According to the medical evidence in the case, the direct cause of the woman's death was a perforated gall bladder, but the incorrect dosage was a contributory cause of the death of the woman and her unborn child.

The case concerned whether journalist B and editor-in-chief C had infringed the provisions on libel in the Danish Penal Code in connection with statements on this case in newspaper articles.

The Supreme Court held that according to their content and context, the statements made in the articles had to be interpreted as conveying that A in the course of her work had made a serious mistake when she injected the morphine and had thereby contributed to the death of the woman and her unborn child. As these statements were true, B and C were acquitted.

The High Court had reached the same conclusion.

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