Mercy for Mother who Murdered Son

life-support-display

In an unusual show of mercy, Japanese courts have ruled that a mother who killed her own son under the most tragic of circumstances will not have to serve a prison sentence.

The case began with the attempted suicide of a 40-year-old Tokyo man, married with 2 children of middle school age.

The man attempted to kill himself on the roof of his workplace, but botched his hanging and was reduced to a vegetable.

He left a note for his loved ones urging them to move on:

“I was tricked by a strange woman.”

“Please forget about me.”

“Lastly, I really, really do love you. Thank you for everything up to now.”

Doctors stabilised him on life support, but considered that “the chances of him ever regaining consciousness are basically nil.”

Japan does not recognise euthanasia and prohibits refusal of treatment to patients in a “persistent vegetative state,” so he would likely have to remain a vegetable for the rest of his natural life, or until his unlikely awakening.

However, Japanese health insurance does not apply to suicides unless mental illness is involved.

As a result of this, the family were presented with estimated receipts totaling some $35,000 for the 10 days of treatment rendered so far, with the future cost of keeping the man alive on a ventilator estimated at $1,000-$3,500 for each day he continued to live.

Lawyers were consulted, but could offer no relief – the family would have to pay until the day he finally passed on, whenever that might be.

Faced with this incredible financial burden the family despaired.

His wife begged doctors to stop the ruinous treatment, both because of the cost and his own inferred wishes: “Please stop actively treating him. If it’s impossible I’ll take him of the ventilator myself,” but doctors steadfastly refused to consider ceasing treatment as brain death had not occurred.

Soon after, his 67-year-old mother left the wife a note one morning: “Hold on, Kyoko. I’m his mother, I bore him into this world, so it’s my responsibility.” She took a kitchen knife with her to the hospital.

Placing a picture of her son taken on holiday 20 years ago on his breast, she stabbed him 4 times in the chest, killing him.

His mother later spoke of her sorrow:

“The sense of loss I have at my son’s death, the fact that I killed him, it overwhelms me. I’ll be atoning for the rest of my life.”

“There was no way I could let his wife take him off the ventilator. As his mother, I’m responsible. I’ve led a long and happy life, so I resolved that my life is over, and I would do it.”

She herself was no stranger to the plight of the aged or disabled, having for 20 years volunteered at a care facility.

In the courtroom, the man’s wife wept as she saw the mother’s now gaunt frame in the dock: “If she hadn’t done it, I would have.”

She begged the court for mercy: “For a mother who loved her son so to have killed him, there can be no greater anguish. Please return her to her husband’s side – he would have wanted that.”

“What would you have done if you were in the same position?” asked the defence in its closing statements to a panel of 6 lay judges and 3 professional judges.

Judges found her guilty of murder, but mercifully sentenced her to only 3 years (the prosecution sought 5, the usual minimum for murder) – they also suspended the sentence for 5 years, meaning she will go free without serving any time in prison, assuming she can refrain from killing any more of her offspring for 5 years.

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187 Comments

  • Oh the irony. Here in the UK, A friend of mine who works in a high dependency unit looks after a muslim asylum seeker who who was injured in a road traffic accident. This guy has not put 1 penny into tax yet the goverment pays almost £400.000 per year for this guys care. Imagine how many more deserving people should get the funding, but intead it gets wasted. Makes you really think who to vote for this coming election.

  • This story got me a little choked up.

    I feel sort of silly and a bit improper for thinking of it, but scrolling through the comments, I was reminded of Faye Valentine. Even in fictional depictions of the future, this sort of thing still occurs. It’s sad, really.

  • That’s really tragic. The situation they were in was basically state-sponsored extortion, nothing short of outright social sadism and nothing short of what she did would have had any chance of preventing the entire family’s lives being ruined. I’m glad the mother wasn’t jailed, especially at her age, but she’ll still be suffering immensely. I feel for her.

  • my uncle had something like this occur after a carcrash… the doctors who “saved” him were like “oh he died 3 times on the operation table but we revived him every time…. he might have severe brain damage now though…”

    end of story, my uncle was a near vegetable unable to communicate with anyone beyond groaning stuck in a wheelchair for 6 years until he finally died…

  • $1000 a day for the hospital to do what exactly? I doubt that any of their equipment uses up enough power to excuse that, food is not that expensive, and they probably don’t even have to do all that much to keep the guy alive for most of the day (Note: I am not a doctor so I might be wrong on that last point). I really don’t understand how the health care industry keeps getting away with stuff like that…

  • At 4:50 anon and everyone else…FUCK YOU

    I am sick and tired of everyone in this thread blaming the doctors like they had some kind of pyramid scheme.THEY ARE BOUND BY LAW LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.If you want to blame someone blame the Diet/lawyers of Japan,they’re the ones making these fucked up laws.

    And to echo the defense ,what would you do?

    Throw your entire life away after slaving in school for years just to help one family.

    Sorry , but I’m an american pre-medical student and this was getting on my last nerve.

    • Hey, bound by law OR NOT, I would say “FUCK THE LAW!” and pull the plug in a case like this, and tell the prosecutors “Okay, you want to come after me! WAIT UNTIL I TELL ALL THE NEWS MEDIA WHAT YOU ARE DOING!”

      That would make them back down IMMEDIATELY, because they wouldn’t want the bad publicity and investigations into the craptacular law of Japan.

    • thousand dollars a day? come on, it’s obvious they had something WORSE than a pyramid scheme for Pete’s sake. No life is worth more than 10 thousand bucks. Good for me that I have a DNR form… and also I have a legal document preventing those BUTCHERS of STEALING my organs ^_^

      In charging for pointless treatments, hospital can be worse than banks.

  • what a bitch, she only had him killed coz she didnt want to pay the money. She’d rather spend it on drugs and hand bags. I say death penalty for the entire family. Execute them all.

  • Sandalphon says:

    When I read the title: What could possibly justify mercy for murdering her own son?

    After reading the article: …I’m just speechless. I am reminded again that real life is way stranger than any work of fiction.

    I can only imagine how sad it all must be for this man’s family. But amongst the sea of despair, it must be relieving to know that they’re not alone, for this man’s mother has shown her support.

    I can’t believe I was brought to tears. Granted, my over-active imagination might have made it all too easy to picture and feel in my mind, but that’s still a first.

  • I loved the photo for this article!

    Did anyone else notice the medical device in picture’s foregrond says, “Running on Battery” at the top?! I wonder how long the battery lasts…

    • It takes around three minutes to kill someone by smothering. She would not have had that time, as the machines he was hooked to would have immediately alerted the hospital staff that something was wrong with him. Giving him lethal wounds by stabbing prevented them from being able to quickly prevent him from dying.

  • A truly sad story indeed. There is no happy ending…

    I feel for the mother, her son obviously wanted to die, dunno for what particular reason, but after the failed attempt, is worse off than he was before.
    He wanted to end his life and not be a burden on his family, but the hospital refused to take him off life support, against the his will and of the family.
    the mother had to step end, she may have kill him, but wasn’t and act of violence. She did to end his pain and suffering, yet she carry a heavy burden to take his life.

    I condolences to the mother, the wife and his children and though I don’t understand why he attempt suicide in the first place, to the man himself.
    Though I don’t support suicide, killing of one self for whatever reason, I didn’t know him or his circumstances and reason to do so, I can’t really judge him, especially since he already passed on.

  • It’s so harsh to called it murder when the old mother is commiting euthanasia in order to release her son from misery (living as a plant for the rest of his life). It’s not there’s no practise of euthanasia in Japan, there were precedents where euthanasia is allowed when certain criteria are met; but on the other hand euthanasia is not regulated by a law;

    And the doctors who forced these 2 women to pay until his son really died, called them selves doctors, when they only want to see money, this is blood money. Shame on them!

  • “Japan does not recognize euthanasia and prohibits refusal of treatment to patients in a “persistent vegetative state,” so he would likely have to remain a vegetable for the rest of his natural life, or until his unlikely awakening.”

    Awesome! When I make it rich! Imma move to Japan so if I ever become a vegetable…. I have an almost to nothing chance of awakening…. BUT! There’s still a chance even if it’s a small one! Plus a law saying you can’t pull tha plug! YESH!

  • That’s horrible.
    Even with the bullshit bills to keep her son alive, I don’t think there’s a worse fate than being a goddamned vegetable, especially if he had some form of consciousness left.

    She did the right thing.

    But really, 4 times? Wow.

  • When it comes to a situation like this, where euthanasia is prohibited and the forced cost of prolonging their life in a vegetative state running into tens of thousands of dollars, then there are some serious problems with the system.

    • Bingo! Very serious problems with the system, and everyone knows it in Japan (yes, there is a big outcry over this in Japan right now, with everyone mainly coming down on the side of the woman who EUTHANIZED her son!).

      However, the stupid legislators don’t want to step in, say “Sorry, we got it wrong!” and change the law.

    • no, hes in plant stage, so bascially the only thing he need was nutritions, it will take days for a person to die without nutritions. the doctors will turn it back on quickly enough so he wont die.

    • @ anon 00:29

      There could have been a chance to turn it back on. with a knife it was quick and irreversible. Also think about this in a traditional sense. How a man in japan uses hanakiri (probably spelled this wrong). they use a blade. Maybe a blade has more symbolism than just turning off a machine.

      When someone uses a blade it has meaning, you are using it for a purpose. I respect the mother who took all the responsibly of her sons death. She chose to end his life herself instead of leaving it for the machine to finish the job. That has more meaning and requires greater courage

  • wow… I was actually prepared to read about another dumb court room verdict( as the reputation of this site and the title was a bit misleading).

    that caught me completely off guard and almost cried…

    the defense was spot on. Targeted the human heart with 100% accuracy, “what would you have done?”. Fuck if that was me I would have given the family compensation money for what they had gone through.

      • @ Anon 02:57 :

        In America, mental illness is *presumed* of someone suiciding, or attempting to do so.

        It is *illegal* here to “attempt suicide”. This law is basically just a justification for the cops to grab the suicide-attempter and have them locked up for a “psychiatric evaluation”.

        They don’t bother using that law on people who *successfully* suicide.

  • That mom was a fucking badass.
    Seriously, the guts it takes to do that are not small thing.

    This should be a lesson though, if you are going to kill yourself in japan make sure you do it properly or else your family will be in super debt for the rest of their lives.

    • It’s not money per se, but the lack of it to pay bills. To be honest I would not pay those inflated bills even if having the money. I would rather transfer my assets and hide my cash and then apply for bankrupcy ^_^

    • Correction: at least they didn’t do the entirely wrong thing. The verdict should have been not guilty. True, she DID break a law, and by that very law what she did was murder and she’s beyond a single doubt guilty of the crime defined by the law, but laws can’t cover 100% of all possible situations, and it’s for these cases that we have judges to apply human common sense. If they apply the law 100% accurately to each and every case, even when said case exposed significant flaws in that law, we could as well just let computers calculate the verdicts for us.
      I’ll say it again: it should have been not guilty.

      • You do not understand how law works, at all.

        Applying human common sense to the justice system would completely break the system because people could just bribe a judge to apply “common sense” to a case easily handled in the scope of law.

        Also it allows for emotional bias that shouldn’t be present when seeking justice, there are to much double standards and everything.

        When it comes down to it, murder is murder. By laws definition, she committed it, and she was let off in the scope of that law, ensuring the integrity of the system. (Also, inb4 self defense or something, murder is not homicide, lrn2law)

      • The law doesn’t apply common sense.

        In parts of the Middle East, a woman can be imprisoned for being sexually assaulted.

        In the UK, a household can loose their internet connection if a stranger accesses their network and downloads copyrighted material.

        In Uganda, a bill is being pressed forward that would impose the death sentence for what it refers to as ‘aggravated homosexuality’, the promotion of homosexuality would also carry a life sentence.

        Wheres the common sense in these?

        • My premise here is well-regulated and controlled, constitutionally bound legislature. That obviously rules out the Middle East and that christfaggotry-ridden hellhole Uganda. The UK isn’t exactly blameless in this area as well (as are alarmingly few countries even in the developed world, sadly).

          But I think we can all agree that laws against murder are among the most reasonable pieces of legislature to be found in modern constitutional states. Still, and this is my point, this case dramatically demonstrates that there are times when a judge needs to not to invoke a law even when there is no doubt that the defendant committed the ‘offense’, no matter how justified the law per se is. Life will come up with all kinds of situations no lawmaker can possibly foresee.

          I simply demand this much common sense from the people in the judicial systems of this world. Not handing out a sentence is one thing, but as a matter of principle I demand that the judges go further than just that. Very idealistic, I know, but I nonetheless demand it.

      • Yeah, I agree completely. But many people just seem to miss the point entirely. I mean, since they were trained for this, don’t you think judges would give fairer decisions on trials like this?

      • She committed murder, premeditated and everything, stabbed him with a knife four times, and she was caught. The verdict is appropriate and it stands because you should always call murder out for what it is–no sense trying to look away and see it as something it’s not.

        The lenient punishment of no jail time should also stand due to the circumstances, and was likely a good call by the lay judges, but this is a case of the punishment fitting the crime. It was a bad situation all around, but this result calls a murder out for what it is but still takes into account the extenuating circumstances without being a hardline-by-the-book sentence.

  • I don’t see why you are all saying how sad it is. If her son was that pathetic he deserved death and its half her fault raising him. If he was mine he would’ve never lived that long being that weak and stupid. Probably wouldn’t have made it to 10.

    • Just make sure you do it properly and not end up being a vegetable (if you are in a country with a law like Japan’s) – I do not want to see another mother forced to end her own son’s life and then being hauled to the court.

  • HAHAHAHAHAHA that’s great. I hope the old lady lives for along time.

    But seriously why’d she stab em…she couldn’t do something like detach a hose or move the oxygen tube so that it had a pinch cutting off the air flow. Anything to make it more difficult to pin a murder charge on her. Could backfire if she isn’t smart enough to pull it off though.

    • And I guess you are not smart enough to notice that cutting the oxygen or turning off the life support system manually would automatically trigger an alert and send doctors running to the room to save the patient. Doing swift mortal damage to vital organs (with a knife in her case) is the most efficient way in ensuring death before help can come.

      • Exactly. Betcha even with stabbing him in the chest, after half a minute the room was crowding with at least one doctor and a host of nurses.

        If she didn’t inflict mortal damage on him in that timespan, the entire situation would’ve spiralled into the gutter.

        And unplugging lifesupport likely wouldn’t have killed him in that timespan.

    • Yeah genius but people need money to live.

      Maybe one day you will realize how important money is and how the mother would of probably committed suicide too trying to pay impossible sums of money.

      • DING DING DING! WINNER IS YOU!

        You hit the nail on the head anonymous, if the mother of this man didn’t do this, the mother of the children would have suicided herself in a few months, a year tops.

  • What ridiculous laws Japan…
    How the fuck could they expect the family to pay that kind of money? Most modern countries have laws against euthanasia, but the governments pay for keeping “vegetables” breathing. It’s their fucking laws after all…

      • ^ this

        and the man broke the rules for their socialized medicine by attempting suicide. This was a hole in the system where the hospital couldn’t let him die which they had to enact so the hospital didn’t do it when they were losing money because the NHC didn’t pay enough to cover costs. If this was from a car accident and not suicide no one would have heard anything about this.

      • … And that’s basically the problem. Suicides is seen to be somehow the fault of the family. But in reality, suicides can’t be made to go away – you can lie about them (some Catholic regions) but it’s not like they’ll go away.

        The worst part is, the suicide can take the whole family with it like this, because the laws are out to punish the families of those who choose to die.

        • Which, they shouldn’t be out to punish the family of those who choose to off themselves.

          The real issue here is religion, and the idea that ‘god’ (non-existent figure!) is going to punish you for suicide.

          Nope, it’s just a 180 back into another body on this planet, hopefully in a better situation this time around.

  • Woman: Please, we can’t afford to pay $1,000-$3,500 each day for my husband anymore!

    Japanese Doctor: That’s not my problem, you pay as long as he lives.

    What a bastard, no wonder they were driven to kill.

    • i’m a medschool student, and i believe doctors have an oath and supposed not to break it. Besides, doctors in hospital only take care of the patient and receive money from the hospital, ALL the payment goes straightforward to the hospital’s administration section

      I know sometimes euthanasia is used to save patient’s family, and in my country it’s permitted, but still, it’s not the doctor’s call, it’s the patient’s family call. In this case, the one prohibit euthanasia is the gov’t, so, doctors to blame?

      • More like …

        Woman: Please, we can’t afford to pay $1,000-$3,500 each day for my husband anymore!

        Japanese Doctor: The law does not allow it.

        I don’t see making the person live(or not) without all kinds of devices as euthanasia but that is just me I guess. I agree with 23:58 he government didn’t give the family the choice to make that decision, the doctor’s hands were tied. What should he have done? lose his job?

  • So they’re forced to keep him alive and the family has to pay $1,000-$3,500 each DAY (How would a single mother with 2 children even get that much per day…)?

    Isn’t that like extortion? How is this even legal…

    The only other option was to dwindle away the family’s savings account and put them into debt. The single mother would probably consider suicide as well by then.

    • What confuses me the most is how keeping one guy on life support can possibly be this expensive.

      How expensive was that piece of life support he got stuck to?

      One should think it’d be -absurdly- cheaper to just buy a life support machine and hire a full-time nurse to attend to him rather than deal with $30,000-$140,000 in hospital costs a month, no matter how expensive the silly life support machine is.

    • It is legal because he attempted suicide. When they went to national healthcare they had to make sure hospitals were not just pulling the plug so they institute this crap to stop that. His suicide attempt means that the NHC will not pay. The 2 laws separately sound good but when they are together this is what you get. This just proves more to me that NHC is a bad idea because we make better decisions than laws and if people would actually open their eyes, if you have insane medical bills there is help… Americans don’t bother looking and just file for bankruptcy instead.

      • ah, obviously its NHC thats wrong… not that other part where they say “screw you” to anyone who decides to commit suicide (and their close ones)…

        Really, in the sane world, where we have NHC without idiotic laws screwing over suicide cases like this, situations like this doesn’t happen, and on top of that we actually get a working healthcare system that we can trust will try it’s best to cure us no matter the size of our wallet.

    • @ anon 21:47 22/04

      I was thinking the EXACT same thing when I read this article. The hospital are obviously going to do their best to keep the man alive as he’s going to be bringing in up to $3,500 a DAY.
      Actively preventing the family from stopping his treatment whilst demanding so much money to keep him alive is EXTORTION.
      I’m going to research this more because the legality of this is dubious at best.

      • I totally agree. Also I don’t get how they can be obligated to pay those inflated bills if the head of the family died. What kind of lawyers did that family got? The father left a suicide note, that can be taken as a DNR form by itself and at least be a precedent.

    • No matter how hard they try, no system of laws can account for every eventuality.

      The hospitals have their laws they have to follow, the families have their laws. The laws are made so that they protect most of the people, most of the time.

      The problem exists when these extreme cases appear, where the law becomes ruinous to everyone involved. That is why there are judges, to render verdicts on cases like this, and in this case it feels like they made the right choice.

      It should not have come down to the mother making the sacrifice she did, though.

  • It’s sad how they can leech money like that. It should be up to the family if they want him to live on or not.

    For the hospital, it only takes up a room, but gives doctors jobs though, but im sure they have plenty anyways.

    EDIT;

    His mother has to be a strong woman, to be able to kill her own son without having a mental disorder. The pain shes goes through after this is probably hell.

    • in all honesty he was already dead.
      he apparently wanted to die too.

      given those 2 circumstances, it isn’t all that hard to kill someone, especially as in this case.

      she may have stopped his heart, but he ended his life.

      • There’s still the responsibility, sight, and the experience.
        Yes, he tried to kill himself, but she had to “hurt” him and see his blood flowing by her hand.
        It’s never hard to kill someone, but it’s hard to get over killing someone. Especially if that person is very important to you.

        • while not exactly the same i had to give the tie breaker in a keep them alive or let them die arguement.

          one of the relatives decided to kill themselves, pills and alcohol, but killed themselves while they were expecting people so they wouldn’t rot away. they lived by themselves more or less a recluse, and people didn’t think anything about not seeing them for a month or two.

          while he managed to stay alive, he was in a coma. half my faimaly wanted to keep him alive and half wanted to end it. than came to me, for my opinion.

          i didnt change any minds, but the only reason the ones that wanted him alive are still talking to me is because my reasons were good.

          later we found out he had a brain tumor and had a window of 1 month to 1 year to live.

          and while im still writing, there was something about not being mentally sound when you want to die.

          there are 2 kinds of depression, first is that sudden i want to die when you have everything going for you. that is a treatable kind of depression.

          and than there is another kind that isn’t. its not bad at first, but it grows. you could have it for years before it would even be considered depression. its not realy treatable, because the only way to treat it would be to take all of what you are, rip it out, and replace it with someone else.

          in the second case, that is where i believe there should be assisted death, because you wont get better, ever, but at the very least it can be painless to you, and have little to no burden on the faimaly you leave behind.

    • Hm. True.

      You know the first thing I tought when I read the title? I went “What the hell, more judge fail?”.
      Then I read the article.

      Covers always fools me it seems.
      The judge decision… was good.

    • Wait wait wait. I dont get it? What would happen if she didnt pay? The goverment would hide her in prison for not having a shitload money???? Now that’s some fucked up shit I cant believe.

    • Darkrockslizer says:

      For a lone woman with two kids in Japan, even earning an extra 1000$ per MONTH is extremely difficult due to the great gender differences in wages.

      After a month the rest of the family would be on the street, and nobody would be able to keep paying for sustaining the man anyways. Even the doctors had to understand that…

      • For the most part, is Japan just like in the USA… if there is nobody to pay the bill, pull the plug anyway?

        – No insurance
        – Family has no money
        – The guy isn’t going to wake up (less than 1% right?)
        – He wasn’t in the mood to be alive anyways

        So why force to keep someone alive who has no prospects of living.

        Feel bad for the mother, whose son has basically died twice. A pillow over his face might have been less messy and being brain-dead, he wouldn’t put up a fight. But I guess alarms would have gone off and they would have resuscitate him… while a few lethal would prevent that from happening.

        • no they have insurance , everyone in Japan have a mandatory communal insurance , but it doesnt cover the suicide . Same thing like when they have families of people who jump under the train pay the damages

      • Is that a bit like in america just before Obatman came to save the healtcare.

        If you’re operated while unconscious you have to pay the bill when you wake up. Even if you didn’t want the treatment in the first place. And it sucks more if you’re not insured, because you still have to pay.

        • Anon 2:49 if they save a life because christian pity it’s OK, but if they “save” a life just to make bussiness I don’t see why it would be unethical to sue them. You can make an alegation based that in your particular faith there is no place for emergency procedures and go with it 😉

          If they din’t ask you BEFORE any procedure in NO WAY you are legally forced to pay a bill.

          Also, if you loose the lawsuit, you can transfer your assets to someone else, declare BANCKRUPCY and still not pay. There is no honor in being ripped off.

        • Which is what Japan has, no it isn’t better. This happened because the guy attempted suicide which would be a good stipulation. The wife wes left with no options and a bill which is where this went wrong. We need to learn to spend money wisely and be given the options to do so, we could pull the plug when we think it is not worth the cost. Being ill is one thing maybe losing a limb but persistant vegetative state until the guy finally dies, no.

        • So how do you sign something if you’re unconscious? What if you were in a car accident?

          But the other option is, they let you die because they don’t have authorization.

          If they do operate on you without your consent but save your life, how can you sue them? But they still bill you so…

          This is why universal healthcare is better.

        • First: they need an autorization signed by you in order to proceed, if you survive you have the right to sue them for malpraxis.

          If you don’t have the money you can transfer your assets to a relative, apply for BANKRUPCY and don’t pay a damm penny to that rats.

      • Japan’s laws are twisted for sure. I gave my wife a legal permission to ‘disconnect’ me and I have the same for her because in NO WAY we have money or time for such expensive pointless treatments. I wonder what kind of laws has a country to not allow a widow to apply for BANKRUPCY; specially if the main sourse of income is her husband.

        • I don’t think it’s just Japan who has these ridiculous laws. It’s the same in Australia, and I would assume elsewhere in the world (except that place in Sweden or somewhere). So we can’t just rang on the Japanese for this just because this particular incident happened in Japan.

        • I agree….. I would rather have the plug pulled on myself than keep on sucking my family dry.

          Japan needs to change their laws IMMEDIATELY, in light of things like this. They need to give the family the right to ‘pull the plug’ on a family member who will never recover, as long as more than 3 doctors say the person won’t.

      • That’s a tall fucking bill. But I guess, despite the law, it was unthinkable to have hospitals shoulder the cost (even though they might have had a hand in the law). It’s a shame that even though the mans wish was for his family to move on, he almost crushed them with his choice to die (not to mention being “tricked” by some woman, whatever that means). I feel sorry for his mom, who basically had to clean up his mess.

        • It is one of the risks of marriage; you agree to be co-responsible financially for anything your partner does, no matter how stupid, even if you have no say in the matter, at least in Japan.
          Note that in other countries this may not necessarily be the case. Where I live there are even different kinds of marriage, some with, some without shared financial responsibility.

      • The cost was not even $1,000 per month, it was $1,000-$3,500 per DAY…!

        “[…] cost of keeping the man alive on a ventilator estimated at $1,000-$3,500 for each day […]”

        It is really sad; the financial burden would be immense. A period of only 6 months would have resulted in an estimated cost of $180,000-$630,000.

        I hope the family can continue to live a, hopefully, happy life.

        • http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2010/04/22/mercy-for-mother-who-murdered-son/#comment-493246

          This is correct – technically even if it fulfills these conditions ti is still murder, but a Nagoya judicial precedent apparently allows them not to prosecute.

          I was researching this – information about the legal status of PVS in Japan is quite hard to come by. It does not appear “life wills” or “death with dignity” have any legal standing, and in fact a lot of the information actually led to a group of lawyers ardently opposing any form of assisted suicide or otherwise. It also appears Japan’s various laws against promoting suicide (a real problem) might well apply to such cases.

        • It’s emergency treatment where you are not allowed to refuse treatment, you will be treated and the bill will be costed to you or your family. The suicide note is treated as non-existent as you can’t refuse treatment.

          There’s also the catch, how can you be mentally stable if you decide to kill yourself.

          He should have gone for poison pills but jumping off is cheap and allows immediate settlement without 7 or so years of declared missing.

        • They might have been able to engage in legal proceedings to allow them to euthanize him, but I think the point was that the family wouldn’t be able to afford a drawn-out legal case where-by they’ll still have to pay the medical fees in the mean time.

          You usually have to have sufficient justification to engage in euthanasia, and in Japan it’s apparently very hard to provide said justification unless it’s coming from the patient himself.

          Apparently, the patient needs to fulfill several criterias in order to be euthanized:
          1) He needs to be in great physical pain
          2) He needs to be close to dieing
          3) All attempts to remove said pain were fruitless
          4) The patient himself must express the wish for it

          Notice the great emphasis on relieving pain in the patient. There are no provisions for euthanizing those who are not officially brain-dead, but are in a coma. Furthermore, there are no provisions for allowing family or next-of-kin to request for euthanasia.

          All requests must come from the patient himself.

          Failing to fulfill said requirements, any attempt to euthanize a patient is considered a homicide by Japanese law, and doctors have been charged and found guilty of homicide in the past due to this.

          So you can see how this kind of puts the family in a bind, because:
          1) There was no proof of physical pain
          2) He’s just vegetative but death was not imminent
          3) There was no signs of pain to be treated
          4) The patient can not communicate the wish to be euthanized

          Since these criterias are apparently enshrined within the law, nothing short of a lengthy legal battle or an amendment in the law would allow them to carry out the euthanasia. Both of these options would take time and money that the family doesn’t have.

        • For any legal purpose, the suicide note it’s pretty much a DNR form itself. The lawyers of that family must be INCOMPETENT, because I can see like thousands ways for them to not pay for any unnecesary treatment.

        • May biggest MONTHLY payment was 500 $. Ten hours a day, six days a week. MY father’s best was 700 $. (Yeah, my dear homeland is really THAT cheap.) If my relatives were afflicted with such a burden because of me… I’d choose die rather than let them pay that amount of money.

          I understand the mother, and I appreciate the court’s judgement, not punishing the strong woman with more pain.

        • It’s not up to the hospital or the doctors treating him. They are prohibited by law from taking him off life-support.

          Even if the doctors wanted to take euthanize him, they couldn’t because it’s illegal.

          So basically, the hospital’s hands were tied. They can not refuse treatment, they can not euthanize him, but somebody has to bear the cost. And that cost has to be borne by the family.