6 doctors referred to prosecutors over death of 2-year-old boy in 2014


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This is clearly a case of the doctors putting their names on a patient's karute (med. chart), but not taking an active enough role is his/her care. Negligence, and they should be prosecuted.

I found Japanese medical care to be haphazard; sometimes it was spot on, other times, the 'doctor' had no clue, though this appears to be true elsewhere, as well.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Kazunari Tanabe, head of the hospital, offered an apology to the victim's family, saying, "I would like to offer my prayers for the patient who passed away and I sincerely apologize to the bereaved family."

6 years AFTER the fact? Just a ploy to shorten the sentence!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

equivalent to 2.7 times the level appropriate for an adult 

This is gross negligence. There is no way a 2 year old that is still between being a baby and toddler should have that much in their system. Especially when an adult shouldn't have anything close to that in their system.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

So sorry for so many parents who lost their kids due to some doctors feeling they are completely powerful.

12 kids died naturally ? Sounds weird!

As many foreigners already underlined, many doctors in Japan act like gods and patient should never ask and get doubt on what they are doing...

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I challenge doctors and always ask questions. If they are unable to explain their choices, have doubts when life consequences are at stake.

Doctors are not gods and some are lazy.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

12 kids died naturally ? Sounds weird!

Sedatives are not used routinely, specially for children as explained in the article, if the 63 patients had very serious conditions it is not weird that some of them died as a consequence, with or without the sedative.

Still, if its use is explicitly forbidden with the exception when doctors take responsibility that is exactly what it means, that if anything goes wrong it cannot be just assumed that they did what is best for the patient according to the best medical practices. An investigation is perfectly justified on every case to corroborate that the medical judgment was correct or not, and if something not justified is found there is no place to run.

This is a delicate issue, because it pushes doctors not to do anything risky, even if they consider it could save a patient, because it will be much safer... for the doctors. But without this kind of rules there is a much higher risk of negligence going unpunished by mavericks that don't think twice before risking the lives of their patients without taking proper care of them.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Mistakes should never be forgiven in cases that caused death.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

In Japan it is difficult to find good doctors and good hospitals. It is a matter of luck they meet good doctors. From outside we cannot know which hospitals have good doctors. Japan boasts all the population is covered by the national health insurances and they can go to any hospital with smaller expenses. While in U.S. they do not agree to the national health insurance system. I guess that is because they can find good doctors and hospitals easier judging from expenses they charge. That is in a sense a good and simple standard to judge doctors and hospitals. Also, in between patients and doctors, they have insurance companies. They provide good information to people where they should go.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

If they signed a waiver, they have no case. Death is one of the risks of surgery. If we prosecute every doctor who made mistakes, no one will want to be a doctor.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

You can't get the procedure unless you sign the form, so it's essentially blackmail that indemnifies the doctors. Medical malpractice is common here, and hellishly difficult to prove, as doctors will not testify against other doctors, even those from competing HMOs, even when they themselves provided counter-evidence of malpractice. We went through this horror a daughter was misdiagnosed with cancer (just months after we'd lost her mom to cancer) by a doc who couldn't even read an MRI. We got a second opinion asap, and she was clear, but we were all traumatised. We then called my lawyer - who was told by the insurer of the hospital that if we pursued a malpractice case they would countersue and bankrupt not just us, but the second opinion doc and his hospital. If you've ever wondered where Japanese docs get their superior attitudes, this is part of it. They're nearly untouchable.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Very disappointed seeing all the "medical experts" here commenting/bashing doctors ready to hang them for their mistakes. Mistakes can happen in medicine and it happens quite often. It's admitting to it and being accountable to it is what's important and doing better. If mistakes meant losing your license then there wouldn't be doctors and hospitals would close. Go to your next door shaman. Everyone makes mistakes but the public expect perfection that doesn't exist. There's a reason suicide rates are high in the medical profession yet nobody talks about it. I feel sorry that a life was lost and there definitely seems to be an error in this case but it doesn't necessarily mean it was the doctor's fault all the time. The nurse may misheard the order or a decimal point was misplaced. That happens everywhere. But I'll reserve judgement until the investigation is finished. An accusation like this can cause permanent damage to someone's career even he proves innocence.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )


If they signed a waiver, they have no case. Death is one of the risks of surgery.

This isn't some just some mistake that happened during surgery. This is murder. Not only did they dose the baby over the legal limits, they took it further by going over the adult limits, and even further by more than doubling the adult limits.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In June 2014, the hospital announced that propofol had been administered to a total of 63 children aged 14 or younger over the five years through 2013.

It said 12 of them had died but denied that the deaths were caused by the use of the sedative.

That's a fifth of the kids that died! So what are they saying killed them? LOCK THEM UP!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If the police are forwarding the case to prosecutors, and prosecutors have agreed to take it, you can bet these doctors are guilty. Or, at least there is enough evidence to prove their guilt.

Police and prosecutors don't pursue cases unless they think they will be successful. Hence, the artificially high conviction rate in Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Waivers may exempt them from civil liability but I doubt if it exempts them from criminal liability.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As they have charged six of them, I'm sure the police and prosecutors have made Nissan-like deals with several uncharged ones to provide evidence for the prosecution.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The sedative propofol is the same drug that Michael Jackson died from, that stuff is powerful. Total negligence on the doctors part, they should not be practicing medicine anymore with the number of deaths report from that hospital. Last but not least it should be closed.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"I would like to offer my prayers for the patient who passed away and I sincerely apologize to the bereaved family."

Only six years later, when the negligence is exposed?

"It said 12 of them had died but denied that the deaths were caused by the use of the sedative."

Yup, no doubt it was just a coincidence 25% of the kids administered the drug out of negligence died. I mean, you can say, "It wasn't the drug that killed them, it was their heart stopping (as a result... ummm... we man... due to complications)".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Honestly, it's time the "moushiwake nai" stopped being an excuse to allow doctors like this and hospitals like this to keep on murdering people and not at the VERY least be shut down and the doctors stripped of their licences. They should all be jailed for life for the continued negligence.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

While in U.S. they do not agree to the national health insurance system. I guess that is because they can find good doctors and hospitals easier judging from expenses they charge. 

It's not like that at all. In the US, the same procedure in the same hospital by the same team of doctors will cost different amounts depending on who is paying the bill. Every insurance company pays differently, and every hospital charges different insurance companies different amounts of money for the exact same procedure. The hospital and insurance company will often fight over how much the hospital is paid, and thus what the patient is left to pay because the patient pays the difference. Frequently patients will have to argue with hospitals for reduced charges. Each doctor bills different customers differently too. The customers who pay the most are those who pay cash. The US health care system (system is really too strong a word for it) is chaotic and haphazard, and very very costly.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Desert Tortoise

Thank you for your information.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My ex was a doctor and he works in his father's clinic and he should not be practicing at all he got D's and C's in the uni he attended in Tochigi which is where doctors' families send their kids if they are not great students like my ex. Do you notice how doctors never display their medical licenses in this country. My ex, on his father's website stated he graduated from Saitama which he did not, and so, very scary indeed for his patients who are giving birth.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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