Japan Today

Doctor punches patient in stomach after his third visit to ER in one night

By RocketNews24

Doctors are generally regarded more highly by society than the rest of us, and rightly so: they bring us into this world, sometimes guide us out of it, and all the while in between they do their best to keep us alive.

But of course doctors are just people too, and they’re prone to the same vices and character flaws that anyone might have. For example, one MD at a hospital in Aomori Prefecture let his short temper show recently when he punched a patient in the gut during a late night visit.

But was the doc just a hothead? Or was this particular patient just so obnoxious that the assault was warranted?

Although the details have only recently come to light, the incident is reported to have occurred one night in early August this year. At about midnight one evening, a male patient entered Mutsu City General Hospital in Aomori complaining of a pain in his elbow. He was promptly examined by a doctor and sent home, only to return at 1:30am—this time arriving by ambulance—telling the hospital staff he had another pain, this time in his abdomen.

Again the man was checked over and sent on his way, but only two and a half hours later, another ambulance drove up to the hospital with the same man sitting in the back.

Clearly the sight of this frequent visitor was too much for one doctor to bear, however; upon noticing the patient sitting in yet another cubicle, the doctor stepped in and suddenly struck a blow to the man’s midsection. Luckily medical staff were on the scene in record time and quickly determined that there was no injury as a result of the blow.

In a subsequent investigation, it was found that this patient had been taken to this hospital by ambulance a total of 18 times since the beginning of 2015. In many cases he was noticeably intoxicated and belligerent with staff. Little wonder the doctor was sick of the sight of him.

Readers of the news were supportive of the avenging doctor:

“That’s forgivable.” “No problem! Innocent.” “Good for him!” “That doctor is innocent. They should have arrested the patient.” “It was just a really strong massage.” “I would have been better if they just went ahead and euthanized the patient.”

The hospital also sided with the doctor, mainly because after the patient sobered up, his assailant apologized and acknowledged the error of his ways. As punishment, they only gave the doctor a strict talking-to. The hospital also said that staff will be provided with additional guidance to ensure that “there should be no violence under any circumstances” from here on out.

Source: Goo News

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- After Three “Harassed” Doctors Leave, a 71-Year-Old Physician Enters to Lay Down the Law -- Bloodbath: Why Do So Many Anime Characters Have Nosebleeds When They’re Aroused? -- Pensioner Dies After Being Denied Treatment at 25 Different Hospitals

© Japan Today

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Physician, heal thyself.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I can understand the doctor's frustration, but you don't just assault someone. If the guy himself lets it go and doesn't press charges, then fine, no charges, but a 'stern talking to' only? Did the doctor know that this patient had come in so many times before (not just the two that night, but the other 18 times, drunk and belligerent)?

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

Oh boy, if one could punch a doc or a nurse every time he or she was fed up with them...

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Excellent, a doctor that really cares about real patients and the resources wasted by such drunks... I really hope he can continue to profess... Given the inhuman amount of stress ER doctors are put through, such a reaction is perfectly understandable.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

While I can "understand", it is not the proper thing to do. A doctor is to "DO NO HARM". So the man went to the hospital many times, maybe there could of been another underlining cause (not in this case, but another case), mental or otherwise, a doctor is to help find the best treatment. If the best treatment is sending him to jail then call the police to handle the work, don't just hit the guy. Heck, he could have actually been suffering from something, doctors don't catch everything.

-8 ( +5 / -12 )

Hippocrates would not be impressed.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

A doctor is to "DO NO HARM".

1 - He's also human.

2 - By convincing that drunk not to do this again, he opened up those resources for saving more lives. So it's a positive balance...

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Holy smokes, that punch in the stomach should be a wake call for both the doctor and the patient. 15 times in the ambulance this year means the guy is either lonely, or wants some friends that will help him.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Could have sat down with the patient and bought him a beer and hash things out.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

"You want to come and complain about abdominal pain? I'll give you some abdominal pain!"

18 ( +19 / -2 )

This imposture should be jailed and fined for wasting everyone's time and wasting the city's money.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

No doubt the doctor swore a Hippocratic oath just before he landed the blow.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"Abdominal pain again, eh? Let me know if this hurts."

Seriously, a small co-charge for ambulance services would cut this nonsense by 90%.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

seriously it could have been easily avoided if they gave him warning after the 3rd time, next time well call the police and file a complaint. why does it take 18 F times before people do something. seriously its this excessive tolerance that Japanese have that cause many of the problems in Japan

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This imposture should be jailed and fined for wasting everyone's time and wasting the city's money.

How do you know he was an impostor? All of his issues may very well have been real.

seriously it could have been easily avoided if they gave him warning after the 3rd time, next time well call the police and file a complaint.

Waiting rooms are not in the business of threatening legal action. They would be opening themselves up to liability if someone were to not come in as a result of said threats, and then die.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

This imposture should be jailed

I don't think "imposture" means what you think it does.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

We're only human, no one's perfect and we all make mistakes.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Comedy gold.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm strangely ok with this.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I'm strangely ok with this.

Yes, that is quite strange.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

"upon noticing the patient sitting in yet another cubicle, the doctor stepped in and suddenly struck a blow to the man’s midsection..."

All together now... "It was 04:00 in the morning and I WAS STRESSED"

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The doctor should be punished (maybe a ¥100,000 fine), but so should the patient (¥50,000 + the cot of the ambulance) for crying wolf and wasting the time of this doctor.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The doctor should be punished

I agree

but so should the patient (¥50,000 + the cot of the ambulance) for crying wolf and wasting the time of this doctor.

How do you know the patient didn't actually have the stated problems? Or that the patient didn't at least believe they had the stated problems?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )


2 ( +2 / -0 )


Yeah, not proud of it, though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One sided story if I've ever seen one. Doctor wrong? Yes! But violence wasn't the way to help this guy out.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I remember asking one of my physician students about the Hippocratic oath, and if I remember correctly he said that Japanese doctors don't take this oath! Three times in a night would make anybody lose their mind especially if he was intoxicated and belligerent. Think of the money that this guy has wasted on ambulance calls, unnecessary treatment at the ER, and taking up valuable time that real patients may have needed!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

A doctor assaulted a patient - I don't see how that's acceptable behaviour.. It doesn't even say that the patient was drunk or belligerent the night of the doctor's sneak assault, only that he had been in other cases. What would have happened if the guy was actually very sick or injured? Then our moron "hero" doctor who should be fired and the hospital sued would have just assaulted a sick and injured person..

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Violence is NEVER the answer. It is assault plain and simple.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

The doctor was having some great "night time" with the nurses and this dude comes in being a mosquito that he is, once, ok, twice, really ? third time !? Even Buddha can't handle the third time.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

What I want to know is whether a punch by a doctor is covered by National Health Insurance.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan is not as attuned to the mental health status of self medicators as the US, and the US is pretty unskilled in this regard. Any intoxicated person who is a chronic ER patient for "phantom" ailments is probably in need of psych care.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

What happened to the medical promise to "do no harm?"

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What happened to the medical promise to "do no harm?"

Does that exist in Japan?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

This "BIG boy" cried "WOLF" once too often...

4 ( +3 / -0 )

I think the comments and actions of the doctor speak for themselves - contrary to other industrialized nation cultures, Japanese culture allows violence under certain circumstances.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

But was the doc just a hothead? Or was this particular patient just so obnoxious that the assault was warranted?

The need to even ask this question reveals the something is amiss with this reporter as well as the doctor and anyone else who thinks that violence is justified in this case.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Imagine if the patient had been a foreigner....

Fatty would be having a field day on his web page....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Without being there as this person visited the hospital over and over, there's not really a lot we know about this situation. What we do know reminds me, in a way, of my late neighbor. His health declined rapidly after his wife passed away. In the period right before he went into a home, he called the police multiple times a day, day and night. He heard little neighborhood noises and thought they were threats. He thought his nurses (and at one point, his daughter) were withholding medication. He was belligerent, though not a danger, and mostly lucid.

Mental health can be fragile when people are lost and lonely, and there are a lot of lonely people out there. What this gentleman probably needs more than anything is a social worker.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The doc should have given the man an enema with an elephant tusk.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ooh, Matron!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So the doctor gave the patient his much needed overhaul, end of story.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

“there should be no violence under any circumstances”

Nah. Violence is the international language that idiots are fluent in. A quick and forceful conversation with them is the best way for them to get the message.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Based on his behavior, that "patient" should be banned from hospitals and abulances. Then if he is really in trouble, well, too bad.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I guess someone didn't agree with my idea of fining both.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the doctor deserves an employee of the month award and the douchebag deserves an extra kick up his cakehole for good measure

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don't know why, but for some reason Bruce Lee's one-punch sock to the gut came to mind when I saw the article's title.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Once we took my daughter to a Japanese hospital emergency room in the wee hours of the morning for a reoccuring fever that wouldn't abate. The physician told us we should "study up" next time before wasting his time by bringing her in. Later we found out that she had problems with her kidneys and needed surgery and that is why she was getting the strange fevers. Some years later my daughter got her fingered slammed in a large, heavy metal door. It was a bloody mess so we took her to the nearest clinic. The two doctors there removed the bandage we had put on the wound, took a look and said they couldn't help and to take her to the hospital emergency room ... but ... they discarded the bandage they removed without applying another. I actually had to ask them to bandage her back up before we made our way to the hospital. There are many, many Japanese doctors that could use a good punch.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

the place should have drunk tank to keep drunks until he/she sober. So that all medical stuffs can concentrate to care needy patients. Then give the drunk to proper authorities, Lucky to this drunk. Doctor did not use Karate or Judo.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Some people will say this doctor surely lost his patients!

But the doctor was just using one of his acu-punch-ture techniques!

Did it work though? We will see over the next few weeks if the man's hypochondria is cured.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I think the doctor should have ordered a series of expensive tests for which the patient would have to pay "just to be on the safe side". The tests could include unpleasant ones such as the barium meal, putting a camera up the nose and passing it into the stomach, running on a treadmill to check the heart etc. That should drive away any time wasters.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I personally would have given him a very intrusive examination complete with a cavity search and testicular cancer check in which some fondling by some older male nurses would have been in order. Let's see him come again.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What happened to the medical promise to "do no harm?"

The promise is "First do no harm". This was not the first time, so the doctor gets off on a technicality.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Punch is also a med presciption for this patient case. Story end.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cry wolf and that's what happens lol . But to be fare as a doctor he should still of acted in a profesoinal manner and done his job properly . I wonder if the guy will be back next week complaining ? My money is on a no no there lol .

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cry wolf and that's what happens

How do you know he was crying wolf?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

How do you know he was crying wolf?

@Strangerland Its not that he was, its that he had been, and for a very long time. If he was being true at the point of being punched is beside the point. The point is had been crying wolf, and the end result was total disbelief in anything he said.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

But how do you know he was crying wolf? He may have been a hypochondriac and very well believed there was something wrong each time he went.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I really can't blame the doctor here, considering he no doubt had been pulling double shifts and overtime through the week to cover for chronic shortages of medical staff. And then he has to deal with this nutcase...again! Throw the nut in a rubber room - the Doc just needs a caution.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What is it with Japanese people who like to place numerous calls to emergency service numbers for the police and fire agencies just to harass them. I mean this guy going there numerous times in a day and his past history of going there and not having anything actually wrong with him is similar to all the stories one can read on JT about the guys who make thousands of calls and hang ups to the 119 numbers or the recent story on JT about a woman who did something similar. Obviously these people have some sort of mental issues and they need to seek help.

I do know of a story of a friend who's wife could be placed into the category of one of those who would probably be the type to make those calls to emergency services and who had numerous other mental issues, and he told me that the doctor he went to advised him to "hit her" a few times to knock some sense into her. He didn't of course, but I think that there are some doctors out there that need to have a better bedside manner.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

****I can't count the times I'VE wanted to punch the useless quack in the stomache.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Violence is NEVER the answer. actually violence has ended many of the worlds wars, and stopped many evil men

1 ( +3 / -2 )

But how do you know he was crying wolf? He may have been a hypochondriac and very well believed there was something wrong each time he went.

@Strangerland Both of us are getting into some serious hair-splitting now. I understand that you mean "cry wolf" as intentionally lying, but I would include the unintentionally falsehoods of a hypochondriac as "crying wolf" because for a physician the result is the same.

I think I am happy enough that we both seem to agree the man is mental.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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