Japanese doctors found liable for toddler's death
Five Japanese doctors were found liable for causing the death of a two-year-old toddler due to over-administering a strong sedative, the Tokyo District Court ruled on Thursday.
Tokyo : Five Japanese doctors were found liable for causing the death of a two-year-old toddler due to over-administering a strong sedative, the Tokyo District Court ruled on Thursday.
The doctors were found to be negligent and liable to pay around 60 million yen ($541,269) in damages for the boy's death in 2014, reports Xinhua news agency.
The amount fell short of the parents' claims for damages of 180 million yen against the five doctors.
The parents also claimed damages against two other doctors at the Tokyo Women's Medical University Hospital, but these were rejected by the court as the hospital had already compensated the parents, according to local accounts.
The sedative propofol was administered by the doctors to the victim following the toddler undergoing neck surgery in February 2014.
The use of propofol for children who have been intubated and are on ventilators or other machines essential for their breathing is, in principle, banned in Japan.
In January this year, two anesthesiologists out of the seven doctors were indicted without arrest.
They were charged with negligence resulting in the boy's death.
Following a seven-minute procedure to remove a non-cancerous tumour in the boy's neck on February 18, 2014, the toddler was administered large quantities of propofol while he was in the intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospital and died three days later, the ruling stated.
Of the five doctors who were found to be negligent, two who were indicted and another anesthesiologist were found by Presiding Judge Satoko Otokozawa to have "violated their duty of care by prescribing high amounts of sedative for a long time without carefully considering the amount and the time of sedative use".
Otokozawa said the other two doctors "failed to fulfil their duties to sufficiently explain the risk of the sedative use to the parents".
Otokozawa concluded that the doctors' negligence and the boy's death were causally related.