2 doctors arrested over assisted death of terminally ill woman


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When continued life becomes a burden on others and the quality of that life has deteriorated to the point that there is no enjoyment left in it, a person should be allowed to leave it voluntarily. We allow our cherished pets an easy way out, why not the people we claim to love? To keep them, in misery, seems selfish.

45 ( +47 / -2 )

@Charlie Sommers

I partially agree with you. I believe that someone, especially someone terminally ill and suffering should be allowed to make that decision and doctors should be allowed assist them without suffering consequences in allowing someone to die without suffering

23 ( +23 / -0 )

When life hasn’t meaning and is intolerable then there must be an escape route...

24 ( +26 / -2 )

Why is euthanasia a illegal? I want to be unplugged if there's too much

21 ( +22 / -1 )

If you are sound of mind no one should have the right to stop you. I salute the doctors involved and hope this can put light on a very real issue. Religion has a lot to answer for.

21 ( +27 / -6 )

Good for her. Archaic laws should not have stopped her from fulfilling her wish. Now release the doctors and introduce a compassion law.

We pressure people into unplugging family members when they take up a hospital bed, allow those who are in a very similar condition to decide for themselves. Is out right to forcibly unplug while one is unaware, yet refuse when one of suffering and begging?

20 ( +22 / -2 )

the doctors have no fault, i would like to do the same in her situation. no one need to have a long suffer life,

short and happy is good enough.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Okubo, the 42-year old former official at the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, and Yamamoto, 43, both graduated from Hirosaki University in Aomori Prefecture. They were not her attending physicians and are suspected of helping her die for money, the sources said.

Euthanasia is currently illegal in Japan, and suppose the case was done in an aim to prompt public debate and legislation, the procedure above seemed to be very sloppy and highly provocative (assisted death for money; done by non attending doctors, etc.). They deserve arrest and criminal charges.

Though it is not directly related to the current case, we also better know some background: Both doctors are said to be outspoken supporters for mercy killing, once claiming to the effect that elderly population is getting a heavier burden to the society. They were also active in SMS implying some "tips" about arranging a natural and cost-efficient death which doesn't look suspicious to authorities. Their view is also criticised as eugenicist.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

The doctors did this knowing that the law in Japan prohibits it. They will lose their licenses of medical doctors. If they did it on purpose to prompt public debate, they should not have received the money from Hayashi.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

A lot of respect for the courage and compassion of these 2 doctors assisting a terminal patient with her wish for euthanasia. A lot of “ murders” and suicides “ in Japan would be avoided with a legal way for euthanasia. These doctors knew the trouble they would get into and probably will loose their licenses and get stigmatised. Every adult , possessing a sounds mind should be allowed to end his or her own life.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Such a small amount of money to lose everything. In the U.S. that money would barely cover the cost of the medicine.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Meanwhile, lawmaker Yasuhiko Funago, an ALS patient and member of the political party Reiwa Shinsengumi, said in a statement, "The most important thing is to create a society that protects the 'right to live' over the 'right to die.'"

Kind of an odd thing for a person in "Reiwa Shinsengumi" to say. I wonder if he's aware of how many of their leaders committed Seppuku or killed others?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

My father suffered for months with a terminal illness after all the therapies and surgeries. He just wanted to die, but providing any aid was illegal. We had to watch as he decided to starve himself until dead. Everyone knew that was his plan. All the doctors, hospice nurses, and family. Once, by accident, Mom almost killed him with a wrong morphine dose about 3 weeks before he actually died. Years later, we discussed it and she wished that accident had saved him the pain of the following weeks.

I'm in favor of assisted suicide provided multiple, licensed, people are involved. We don't want to allow killing of people with depression, but for people with painful, terminal, illnesses who have exhausted all available treatments they care to have, yes.

If you live long enough, you'll know someone who would have preferred to die with dignity. Today, I can show a pet more compassion at the end of their life than I can for a loved one. Very sad.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

I’m not sure if asking a million-yen fee for assisting death was appropriate or not, but I would have paid that much if I were in her position. After all, you can’t take it with you.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Everyone should have the right to die the way they want, it is unfair for the doctors as the only thing they did in the end was helping her.

Even myself, despite being healthy as a horse, if I didn't have a wife and kids to look for, I'd do it right away if it was legal as life during this pandemic has become unbearable with all the social distance thing, travel bans and mask wearing, etc.

I have read about ALS and seen people suffering from the illness and it's something I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemies, not surprised at all by her decision and the doctors'.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Voluntary euthanasia is gradually being accepted in more countries, and it is only concerns about adequate assessment of justification in individual cases, and the need to persuade the religiously afflicted that their views should not override the wishes if the majority or the terminally ill individual, that hold it back. These two doctors and others who support what they did need to be part of a consultation group advising the Japanest government on this issue, with a view to changing the law and regulating when and how assisted suicide can occur.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I can't fault her wish to be released from further suffering as I suspect that most of us would wish to have the option if we were in a similar situation.

I did hear of a study that found on average that where the option of euthanasia was taken up by an individual, it only shortened their lives by a matter of weeks. However those weeks, in most cases, would have been the most uncomfortable and undignified for all involved including the families.

The transfer of money to the doctors does make it look like a 'for profit' job, not an act of mercy and does 'muddy the water' somewhat.

6 ( +6 / -0 )


'We allow our cherished pets an easy way out.....'. Hmm, but we don't get the pet's consent exactly, do we? We decide for them, which is rather different. If a person has an illness that is only going to get worse and his or her quality of life is so bad, then that person should be able to decide. Scheduling things makes it easier to say goodbyes and gives us control over the situation.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I think the caretaker was in on it too

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

These procedures should not be done on a direct financial transaction basis.

Although Hayashi didn't have much choice, given how backward Japan and so many other countries still are, euthanasia and most other medical treatments should be official and taxpayer funded.

Patients' consent should be fully documented in a way that protects their wishes and the doctors carrying them out.

Unfortunately, I very much doubt our "enlightened" lawmakers'll be convinced...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Causing pets to suffer can result in jail time, allowing humans to suffer in this way is the law. It's time to change the law

7 ( +7 / -0 )

i don't think the doctors were in greed to get the money, probably knowing there may be legal fee

afterwards, i don't see anything wrong with it. may be the lady offered it to show her appreciation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

hope she’s in a better place.


5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is a tough call. If you are able-bodied and want to die then you have the ability to commit suicide. But if you are paralyzed then you need the help of others and arguably have a right to die.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Once upon a time I would have said all life is precious and should be maintained at all costs. Slowly over the years as I watch people die slow, painful unhappy deaths, my thinking has changed . There should be special doctors whose only work would be to deal with euthanasia, special places where it can happen with dignity surrounded by those we love, and an escape route should the person change their mind at the last minute

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don' think you should be obligated to extend life by unreasonable means. These judgements are best made by family members after receiving wise and competent medical advice and seeking divine guidance through prayer.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

A boy is this a tough subject to talk about, doctors on principle want to preserve life, but in this case they could see that there is no medical help for this lady, her quality of life must have been absolute zero, I don't know if she was in a lot of pain, but I can sympathise with her and the doctors. as for the legal complications they do need to be addressed and the law does need to be changed. but there also does need to be safety measures in place, and each case needs to be monitored, I am sure there is some unscrupulous person out there just waiting for there uncle, farther, mother just to die so they can get there hands on there money or property.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Money was necessary. It would have been immediately suspicious if there was no professional fee involved.

Of course it's also practical, useful for continuing their advocacy/operations

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

What is next? Death Clinics instead of Health Clinics? "Tuesday Special! 50% Off! 100 Man50 Man Discount Day! 2 For One Specials!" [So then, instead of providing health services, they actually provide death services.]

In fact, due to economic supply-and-demand, private enterprise will move wherever there is profit to be made.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As mentioned by several posters euthanasia is legal in some countries. So I guess if it becomes here you can call them death clinics.

Just occurred to me, there may be elderlies out there who are freely going around actually welcoming to be infected by covid19

0 ( +1 / -1 )

""Euthanasia has been legalized in countries such as the Netherlands but is not legally recognized in Japan""

People should have the full uncontested right to end their lives if they wish. NO authority should interfere or have any say over the matter.

In most cases these people wish to be in a better place, like it or not it's what they wish for.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I hope she is resting in peace now.

2 ( +2 / -0 )


'We allow our cherished pets an easy way out.....'. Hmm, but we don't get the pet's consent exactly, do we? We decide for them, which is rather different.

In some situations, it is the family who decides. A brother-in-law fell off a ladder while removing Xmas lights and injured some vertebra. He never woke again and was declared brain dead a few days later. Life support was removed.

Not all of the family agreed. His sisters wanted him on life support indefinitely though he wasn't ever going to wake up.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

MarkJuly 24  09:06 pm JST

""Euthanasia has been legalized in countries such as the Netherlands but is not legally recognized in Japan""

People should have the full uncontested right to end their lives if they wish. NO authority should interfere or have any say over the matter.

In most cases these people wish to be in a better place, like it or not it's what they wish for.

No. People should have an uncontested right to end their lives at when several medical practitioners have concluded that the long term prognosis for the patient is untenable. This should be a carefully considered judgement based on the best scientific knowledge/healthcare available at the time and made in conjunction with a number of neutral parties. This is generally how it has been implemented in countries where euthanasia has been legalised.

Using your principals, people would have the right to end their lives in temporary traumatic circumstances when they are unable to make rational decisions (e.g. being emotionally unwell after a relationship breakdown, death of a loved one, time of stress etc).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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