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Man switched at birth in 1953 wins suit against hospital

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At first glance it seems interesting that it took so long for them to realise it, but when I think about my time in Japan, there have been countless occasions when I saw a couple with a child or two and one of those children just didn't seem to look like the father to me. Perhaps this is silently accepted and just not discussed in polite company, so that's why they didn't say anything for so long.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

homleand: Why does a child have to look like the father? Probably in some of those cases it was good-old adultery, but there are a lot of cases of child-switching, and this is the first time I have ever heard of a hospital actually being punished instead of simply the usual "moushiwake arimasen". I doubt this will do much to heal the man's suffering, but I hope it sets an example to the hospitals and the people they hurt by not taking enough care.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

when I think about my time in Japan, there have been countless occasions when I saw a couple with a child or two and one of those children just didn't seem to look like the father to me. Perhaps this is silently accepted and just not discussed in polite company, so that's why they didn't say anything for so long.

I'm not sure why you think this is a Japan thing. This happens in western countries as well. Not necessarily the switched at birth thingy, but when one kid looks different, people keep that to themselves in the west too.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

In the 50s mothers were sedated for birth and often didn't see their babies right away. With natural birth and seeing the baby immediately, as well as improved hospital procedures, I don't think kids being switched is all that possible.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wondering how "the other man involved in the switch" feels about all this...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Strangerland: "I'm not sure why you think this is a Japan thing. This happens in western countries as well. Not necessarily the switched at birth thingy, but when one kid looks different, people keep that to themselves in the west too."

I think the reason it's news is because it ended up in a successful suit, which I think is pretty rare in Japan when it comes to people suing hospitals (or people suing at all, for that matter).

Roxana: I believe the article states he was involved in the suit and that he and the other man switched initially demanded more than 300 million in damages. So, I'm guessing he probably doesn't feel all that great about the situation either.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

To me an interisting issue is the court's recognition of loss of tertiary educational opportunity due to a different family upbringing. The education system needs to do more to ensure equality of opportunity, especially in a family where the father dies at an early age..

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I had an American friend here who told me her husband's parents "disowned" him when he said he intended to marry her. He had often wondered why his name meant "third son" while he was an only child. Although not a case of a "mix-up" it can be just as cruel to suddenly find out you'd been adopted. It did have a "happy end" - he did get to see his real mother before leaving for America with his wife.

In my own experience, I guess that's one advantage of having a "Eurasian" baby !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It looks like just one case a long time ago, but actually not. There were more than one case, many babies were accidentally switched at birth but they would not accuse as most hospitals no longer exist. In 1950s so may babies were born ever in busy hospitals almost every day and they did not have a clear system about such mistakes. These stupid mistakes can not be healed. Too late!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is a sad story all around.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Was it on purpose or a mistake? Either way, that sucks.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Glad to hear that the man who got switched at birth won the suit. It sucks he had a hard life =/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

38 million yen? Big deal... compared to the issues surrounding this mishap, that's a pittance.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Strangerland

I'm not sure why you think this is a Japan thing.

I'm not saying it's necessarily a Japan thing at all, just that it's something I've noticed quite a bit in Japan and not to the same degree elsewhere.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

38 mil yen is a pittance.... why wasnt he awarded much more ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Probably a mistake but that doesn't make it right.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wondering how "the other man involved in the switch" feels about all this...

Good enough that he didn't need any of that lawsuit money!

This article doesn't fully describe the disparities between the two families. The one family was on welfare, while the other family was rich and even had a pool in their house, which is almost unheard of in Japan. The guy he was switched with is now president of his (non-biologial) father's company.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When my kids were born in Osaka, not only did they have little wrist tags and bedheads with their name and Mum's name, they also had their names written directly onto their leg with some kind of marker-type pen! I guess partly due to this man's very unfortunate experience.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Roxana: I believe the article states he was involved in the suit and that he and the other man switched initially demanded more than 300 million in damages. So, I'm guessing he probably doesn't feel all that great about the situation either.

It seems now that the 3 younger "brothers" had the DNA tests done because the older brother was taking all of the money after their parents died.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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