Boy Refused Ambulance Dies: “Get a Taxi!”


The parents of a critically ill boy who was told “get a taxi” when he called 119 for an ambulance and subsequently died without ever receiving medical attention are suing the city responsible.

The 19-year-old Yamagata prefecture student suddenly fell ill at home one morning at 5AM in late October, suffering severe vomiting and delirium.

He managed to call 119 for emergency services, but instead of being dispatched an ambulance he was told “take a taxi to hospital,” with the dispatchers refusing to send help, a taxi, or to inform the hospital.

Help never came and he was unable to find his way to hospital. His parents became concerned, and had his landlord call on him 10 days after the call, whereupon he discovered the boy’s remains at home.

Recordings of the call which somehow escaped mysterious loss, deletion or misfiling audibly demonstrated him having difficulty breathing, being only barely able to speak, and apparently not in full possession of his faculties.

His parents have filed a lawsuit against the city responsible, asserting that not despatching aid to a dying man is a clear dereliction of their legal obligations and demanding ¥10,000,000 in compensation.

The city has so far declined to comment, citing the pending litigation.

The case has understandably sparked outrage amongst Japanese:

“This is horrible. Somebody who doesn’t regularly use taxis wouldn’t even know their number, and for them to tell someone sick enough to have called for an ambulance to find the number of a taxi company and call one himself, go outside and wait for one whilst sick on a winter morning… are they devils?”

“Since they are only asking for 10 million it really sounds like they are more interested in finding out why they let him die than just claiming compensation.”

“That’s a trifling sum for a 19-year-old’s death.”

“The city ought to at least comment on why they didn’t send out an ambulance!”

“At least they didn’t send him an ambulance only for the hospital to refuse him.”

“He could have at least asked them for the right number.”

“Because telling someone who called 119 at 5AM to come to hospital themselves in a taxi is just such basic common sense, right!?”

“Blame this on all the idiots who call 119 for no good reason.”

“Why haven’t they established his cause of death fully? They are getting off lightly if he really did die because of this.”

“They probably don’t have tons of money to start a huge suit against the city. I expect their lawyer plans to start off with this and then use the proceeds for further litigation.”

“What about the poor taxi driver who’d be expected to drive a fatally ill man to hospital…”

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    Comment by Anonymous
    16:36 06/07/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Japan, don't become China.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:41 06/07/2012 # ! Good (+0.9)

    I was like "meh, China"
    then I was "OMG" I was wrong

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:16 06/07/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Same here. It's really sad, poor young man...

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:24 06/07/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Why would you think this would ever happen in China? The dispatcher would've gotten the public execution China style, as opposed to Japan, where public servants are considered immune to worldly laws or common sense.

    Avatar of TNinja
    Comment by TNinja
    23:25 06/07/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    I don't know, maybe because shit already happen there before, like a child who got run over on purpose?

    I suppose this is why all shit are now stereotyped as "China"?

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:49 08/07/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    This won't happen in China because ambulance service are run for profit.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:12 07/07/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    In China taking a taxi to the hospital is a preferred method over an Ambulance. Not only because it's faster, but because they're cheaper too.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:00 07/07/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    What happened was sad but the China case cannot compare to this.

    The mother of the child was negligent and her child got run over end of story.

    This is a dying man calling emergency services and being denied his remedy.

    *Sigh* Fools chalking everything up to China.

    Avatar of Pyrolight
    Comment by Pyrolight
    03:53 07/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think you missed the point.

    The situation as it is stated would not happen due to the penalties involved.

    The kid in China getting run over is basically unrelated.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:27 07/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    In China, ambulance rides you to hospital.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:02 06/07/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    It's not really the hospitals fault, kid was just unlucky it was an ass hole who answered the phone.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:00 06/07/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    But the asshole works for the hospital, under their rules. which means that the hospital is responsible.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:46 06/07/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    119 is a public service under local government. they decide which hospital is the nearest to the patient's location and call the hospital to dispatch ambulance

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:51 07/07/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    yeah, that's what i was gonna ask
    isn't 119 managed by the Police and/or the Town's Emergency Department?

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:11 07/07/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Tragically, this almost happened in Canada. While I was volunteering for community services, I received a call from a middle aged man living in a remote region who was immobilized from the liver pain he was suffering.

    He called the ambulance but the ambulance stopped about 15 minutes from his house and told him the snow is too heavy, they cannot cross the bridge to get to him and he had to walk out to meet them. The ambulance said they would wait 30 minutes and if he doesn't come out they will have to turn back.

    Fortunately someone at dispatch had some common sense and ordered the ambulance back to him along with a snowplow truck to clear the way , and we avoided pulling a Japan.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:53 06/07/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    You're right, it's not the hospital's fault. EMS units are not run by the hospital. Ambulance services are run by an independent company, which partners with the hospitals within an X-mile radius. This is why you get a separate bill, with a ridiculous fee attached, if you need the service of one.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    01:55 07/07/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    The city should have to pay his family the equivalent of a few million USD and the asshole dispatcher should be charged with criminal negligence and manslaughter.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:30 07/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Agreed with the criminal prosecution. If I did this to someone, refused to take them to the hospital when I knew that they were sick even if unrelated to the person in question, I could be charged with negligent manslaughter.

    The culpability level is even HIGHER when it is a town-hired person running the ambulance service.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:34 07/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hate to break it to you Japanohiles but this happens often in Japan.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:33 06/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    japan has always been shit
    has any of you ever lived in this shitty excuse of a country?

    got into car accident, taken to ER
    QUESTIONED and asked to FILL FORMS
    the guy is half dead
    what the fuck, japan?

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:27 08/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    As someone who has lived in Japan for 6 months as part of the JET program, I can say, without a doubt, you, sir, and the rest of you accusing us of being "weaboos" are asshat trolls.

    Good day, faggots.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:51 09/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh and I suppose you are from the greatest country ever? Every country has their problem. Stop being so narrow minded and judge Japan just by reading things off the internet.


    Comment by Anonymous
    06:23 07/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    And where are you from? The country of great fatasses?

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:24 07/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    u mad bro?

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:09 06/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    They're weeaboos, of course they haven't!

    Avatar of Loli
    Comment by Loli
    22:23 06/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    why yes, i've lived in japan
    and it was great c:

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:29 06/07/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Because you did not need to call 119.

    Comment by Anonymous


    Most people know Japan from anime and that is NOT Japan at all. Not even close.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:32 06/07/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Here we are people, someone with actual logic.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:16 07/07/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    whis is a rare thing between sankaku visitors

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:49 06/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    what? you mean japanese dont actually summon creatures from a card game? or get raped by tentacles? what about an average loser guy being liked by multiple, cute, big breasted, blue, pink, and red headed school girls?

    Comment by Anonymous

    I can vouch for your disapproval. But remember, this website is full of weeaboos not living in reality.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Well if by 'weeaboos' you mean beta asians that practice their social withdrawal and pretend they are into asian culture by whacking off to pixels. Judging by the tear-induced down vote bitch moves whenever a news story that asspains them appear, this seems very likely.

    Avatar of CaliforniaOtaku83
    Comment by CaliforniaOtaku83
    16:37 06/07/2012 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    Or worse, the U$A.

    Avatar of Noodlestein
    Comment by Noodlestein
    16:53 06/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    At least if I called 911 I would have gotten an ambulance sent to me or at least an officer sent to check it out.

    This is pretty bad.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:39 06/07/2012 # ! Good (+0.8)

    Yep, in USA they send someone to you, then charge you if the call was false.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:15 06/07/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    wtf 10,000 dollars???? that sucks.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:27 06/07/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    lol really? you must not watch the news, there have been tons of stories like this in the states.

    Frankly, I'd rather die than have an ambulance pick me up, there's no telling how much that would cost me, I had to go to the emergency room once, my heart was fluttering, my breathing was heavy, I saw sparkling white lights, my head tingled, and when I put my hands up to it, the tingling spread to them. I was in the hospital for 2 days, and the doctor only came to see me once, he said "you're heart rate is high, blood count is low, your oxygen levels are low, and we don't know why" what kind of doctor just says "we don't know why" should have said, "we havent figured the reason, but we are still working on it" but no, after that he left, a nurse came back and said "we are discharging you because we need the room" I then got a bill a week later charging me exactly $10,000. They never figured out what happened to me, so I'll never pay that bill, even if I had that kind of money.

    That guy saying "At least they didn’t send him an ambulance only for the hospital to refuse him" makes me said that it sounds like it's the exact same way over there.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:49 07/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    google 911 hangs up
    and see how great 911 treats you.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:21 07/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    "there's no telling how much that would cost me"

    Find out? You didn't even tell us how much they charged for the ambulance ride. In my country without cover and ignoring the government health care programs an ambulance ride is $600.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:36 08/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Anonymous 19:04, I have never heard of them doing that latter thing, locking you up when you show up at the station to complain.

    That would be ILLEGAL in and of itself and wouldn't fly.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:04 06/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    at least in England you'll almost never get turned down. The waiting room is a fucking pain, but if its serious they'll get you to a ward immediately and if theres no room they'll do treatment in the ambulence.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:55 06/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)


    It's actually $125000 and not 10000.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:30 06/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Your doctor was honest with you as he should. If he says "we are working on it" when they are just monitoring you for changes, he'd be lying.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Yep, in the states they send someone for you.
    Unless they decide to tell you to fuck off and hang up. And then lock you up when you show up at the station to complain.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:42 06/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Kinda too late. It's already beein censored and amaericanised at full speed.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Might come a reality now that Obamacare is the law of the land here in the USA. In order to get a ambulance, government bureaucrats will need to assess the costs.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:02 06/07/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.3)

    Was that irony or are you really that stupid?
    If it wasn't irony, stop watching FOX News.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:34 06/07/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Either your a rich idiot, or a idiot who has never needed $urgery. A lot of people can't afford health insurance and even if they have it the insurance firms often leave them high and dry when they refuse to honour the claim. Affordable healthcare is a fantastic move and something that many other countries already have.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:31 07/07/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    You know who increased the bureaucracy the most in recent years? Conservative Republican GOD, Ronald Reagan. You can blame him for any cost analysis assessment. Go ahead and look it up.

    And if you're bitching about Obamacare? Don't bother, Romneycare is almost the same, so save it for when Obamacare is repealed w/ executive order #### and Romneycare does exactly what Obamacare did except we just wasted huge amounts of taxpayer money.

    Think about that. Or not, won't make a difference, either way it's all going to sh*t.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:32 07/07/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    The IPAB can only make suggestions on procedures performed by doctors for purposes of reducing costs. While yes, this is both a worrying and controversial aspect of the bill, there are no provisions anywhere that would allow them to deny ambulance service under any respect. Additionally such service should always be at least partially covered by the new mandatory insurance programs (assuming you're not being fraudulent).

    While there is something to be said for mandating people to buy into insurance plans, nothing in Obamacare actually impacts recieving emergency care via 911 currently. At worst the IPAB can do something stupid in the future, but it won't effect ambulance service.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:23 09/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Fuck man, im glad im living in Germany and have access to 24h Medical Care.. i pity you Americans and all the other Countries who dont have suche a Medical System like in Germany.

    Avatar of Shadow C
    Comment by Shadow C
    20:19 06/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Simply taking care of the sick isn't popular enough here in America.

    A system of paying protection money for mixed results is much better. =)

    Avatar of starsplash
    Comment by starsplash
    20:32 06/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I dont know anything about Obamacare, but Im sure that doesn't matter.

    You clearly dont know what Obamacare is.

    Comment by Anonymous

    I actually live in Japan and it's not all roses. Stop knee-jerking about Obamacare. The hospitals here are full of lonely old people who use up space and time at the drop of the hat because it's 'free' and they are bored. Meanwhile pregnant women who have an emergency die because they can't find a hospital to take them. Stories like this aren't that unusual here.

    TANSTASFL. The sooner you learn that, the better off everyone else will be.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:24 06/07/2012 # ! Drivel (-0.7)

    i like how every new topic that pops up on sanc has to be compared to the USA LOL. prooves that you are the no1 most hated country on the planet hands down!

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:27 06/07/2012 # ! Good (+0.7)

    Rest of the world = Tsundere

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:29 07/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    You are wrong! It's not like we talk about it so much because we like it or anything!

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:44 08/07/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Diemeow fails.

    Avatar of Diemeow23
    Comment by Diemeow23


    Please don't it's an insult to actual tsuderes

    Avatar of Diemeow23
    Comment by Diemeow23


    Please don't it's an insult to actual tsuderes

    Avatar of Diemeow23
    Comment by Diemeow23

    well this is quite sad indeed

    an insult to tsunderes

    P.S. if this was a double post I apologise

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