Judicial precedent introduction

Medical treatment
1. Medical Malpractice: delay in treatment leads to untimely death of patient

A lung cancer patient underwent surgery, had a lung removed, and then followed up with regular hospital visits Ten years later the patient presented with chronic fits of violent coughing, complaints of fatigue and shortness of breath. Lab tests showed high levels of C-reactive protein, a key indicator of inflammation, most likely due to infection. Based on this information, the doctor should then have proceeded with tests to determine the source of infection; a simple endoscopic examination would have shown that the patient's lung was infected with aspelgirus bacteria. Instead, the doctor followed an unorthodox approach and prescribed anodyne and had the remaining lung X-rayed. Then, suspecting a relapse, he also ordered a CT scan. This went against current medical opinion that held relapses as highly unlikely and that inflammation of the lung should not only have been considered, but immediately treated. But the doctor failed to act in a timely manner and the patient finally died, as a direct result of the infection, four and a half months from the initial consultation. At no time did doctor in question ask the opinion of the specialists at his hospital nor had his patient hospitalized. The Saitama District Court held the doctor negligent in his professional duty and held him liable for the victim's death, and the hospital liable in respondeat superior. The court awarded the bereaved family \55 million, for income loss and consolation, and attorney's fees.
2. Clinician's duty to transfer patient to majour medical facility

Plaintiff was a 6th grade elementary student when admitted into defendant's private clinic. Based on symptoms presented, headache and fever, the physician considered appendicitis or severe gastritis and dehydration, and placed the plaintiff on intravenous medication. However, there was no improvement, with the young boy vomiting later that night, and was given a second unit of i.v. next morning. Still, there was no amelioration of symptoms, and although the boy's mother repeatedly demanded for the physician to attend her child, he failed to do so for several hours. When he finally did see his plaintiff patient, he dismissed the boy, although in a worsened condition. The following morning the child was taken to private hospital, where based on tests, including a CT scan, the plaintiff was diagnosed with severe cerebral illness. The child never gained complete recovery and remains, now an adult, pertially handicapped. Plaintiff claims that had defendant transferred him to a proper medical facility in a proper and timely manner, brain damage could have been avoided.
The Lower Court ruled against the plaintiff, and the Upper Court upheld the decision. On appeal the Supreme Court reversed the Upper Court's ruling, holding the defendant liable to the plaintiff, and remanded the case to theUpper Court for assignation of damages.
When the nature of the illness exceeds the scope of the clinician's expertise, or when the clinic is ill-equipped to handle a patient's needs, a private physician has a legal duty to transfer his patient into the care of a medical facility better prepared to handle the proper treatment.

3. Dental surgery malpractice

Defendant is dental surgeon who incurred liability when he caused permanent damage to his client during a routine dental implantation. There is a danger of causing nerve damage leading to permanent paralysis of the jaw if proper care is not taken during administration of anesthesia. In this case, the dental surgeon's failure to respond to his patient's complains led to permanent disability of his client and the Nagoya District Court ruled that the defendant compensate the plaintiff for loss of income due to his paralysis and to pay consolation money.
4. Physician's duty to disclose all risks:

The plaintiff, a woman who underwent medical laser treatment at a clinic specializing in plastic surgery, to cure a wide spot on her forehead, suffered some serious side-effects, consisting of colored inflammation on her right forehead and no coloration on the left, clearly inconsistent with the doctor's explanation prior to treatment. Thus, she sued him for damages and cancellation of her medical treatment fees. In this case, the Yokohama District Court decided in favor of the plaintiff, judging that the medical contract should be held invalid as there was no meeting of the minds concerning critical terms in the contract. In particular, cosmetic surgery, not being an emergency procedure, warrants that the surgeon take pains to clearly explain to all possible side-effects to his client; which in this case the surgeon failed to do.