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Unless the patient's life is in danger, abusive language and violence are grounds for refusing medical treatment. If more medical personnel quit over 'patient harassment,' it'll affect hospital management and may impact local medical care.


Hirotaka Fukuzaki of the Nagasaki Bar Association. At medical institutions across Japan, "patient harassment" is on the rise, with medical workers subjected to verbal abuse, violence and other unwanted behavior by patients and their relatives.

© Mainichi Shimbun

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We might need to know under what circumstances people are allegedly abusive and violent. Are these people drunk, for example? Under the influence of drugs, like spice or meth? Delirious? Or what?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Here in the states, every clinic and hospital I've been to has signs about abusive language or actions being grounds for refusing treatment. Many people blame doctors if their recovery isn't quick enough and they often go off on them. It's a practical rule.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I admit I could never be a doctor.

Looking at how doctors and nurses in Japan were treated during Covid with things like “you shouldn’t be out shopping if you’re dealing with sick people. “ and getting harassing phone calls dozens or hundreds of times a day by unhinged ossans with nothing else to do would make me side eye helping them if they ever came into my office.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Unfortunately, in many places, in many hospitals, patients often encounter imperious doctors, nurses and staff who are arrogant, condescending and abusive. They have no regard for the patient's wishes or the family's wishes. And they can cause situations that drive patients and their families to despair.

In such situations, some patients and / or their family members feel they have no recourse but to confront these medical personnel.

And then the medical personnel play the victim. When they are not.

Medical personnel are not always "paragons of virtue". And they often create such situations because of their arrogance, selfishness or unwillingness to listen to the patient.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Odd, this coming from the bar association. That aside, most international practitioners I've encountered and discussed medical ethical issues with, are very aware of their ethical obligations to their patients and to the public. And the options available to them and their staff.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You are entitled to be safe at work. In the first place, medical institutions should provide adequate training such as de-escalation, and ensure there are adequate security measures in place, like panic buttons and security personnel.

However, if a patient or their family members are acting physically violently towards medical staff - verbal abuse is a little different in my opinion - there should be no repercussions for the staff if they remove themselves from the situation. Same goes for the retail industry, hospitality and so on, when dealing with violent clientele. In the medical setting, as the quote says, the equation changes if the patient's life is in danger.

As they often say in law enforcement: You have the right to go home at the end of the day.

3 ( +4 / -1 )


Unfortunately, in many places, in many hospitals, patients often encounter imperious doctors, nurses and staff who are arrogant, condescending and abusive.

That's true, even those patients paying bills for those staffs but they think that they can condescending  their patients, just because they held the actual cure treatment for their patients.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I have had 100% good healthcare.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Despairing that at least three people prefer not to know what might be the cause of the abuse.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Seems rather self-defeating to abuse your caretaker in any way.

I broke my knee recently, and my doctor seems to enjoy meeting me, pulling up my CAT scans and musing about the two years it will take for my knee to heal. We've got a long relationship ahead.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Here is a link to the whole Mainichi article: https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20240202/p2a/00m/0na/013000c?dicbo=v2-eLL95Tc

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I have spent much time in hospitals over the last five years but I haven't seen or heard anyone being unpleasant. Medical staff should not have to suffer any abuse from patients.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I cannot begin to imagine doctors. medical professionals having to make a choice between ignoring a drunken slob, paralytic, to the state of poisoning, in casualty (A&E), I understand hospital staff are sometimes of risk of physical verbal assault in such circumstances, forced into the decision to refuse care.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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