Two Japanese doctors charged in the assisted suicide death of woman with ALS

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Japan Times reported Thursday that prosecutors have indicted Yoshikazu Okubo, 42, and Naoki Yamamoto, 43. The two “were arrested in July for allegedly giving Yuri Hayashi (51) a lethal dose of a sedative drug at her home in the city of Kyoto last November. Before her death, the Hayashi transferred ¥1.3 million to Yamamoto’s bank account. Hayashi was diagnosed with ALS in 2011.”

Okubo was “arrested for allegedly giving a woman with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) a lethal drug dose had offered to assist the woman in her euthanasia numerous times on social media, starting around 11 months before the incident, investigative sources have disclosed,” according to The Mainichi.

The Japanese Times reported

…Okubo, who operates a medical clinic in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, and Yamamoto, a doctor living in Tokyo’s Minato Ward, visited Hayashi at her Kyoto apartment on Nov. 30, pretending to be her acquaintances. They were not her attending physicians.

They left about 10 minutes later, and a caretaker, who had left the room while Hayashi was with the doctors, found her unconscious soon after.

She was pronounced dead at a hospital and traces of the sedative barbiturate, which acts as a central nervous system depressant, were detected in her body, the sources said.

Euthanasia is not legal in Japan, and it is prosecuted as a homicide.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.