Two doctors indicted in a second alleged euthanasia death in Japan

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

In August 2020, I reported that two Japanese doctors, Yoshikazu Okubo and Naoki Yamamoto, were indicted in the death of Yuri Hayashi. The two were arrested in July 2020 for allegedly giving Hayashi a lethal dose of a sedative drug at her home in the city of Kyoto in November 2019. 

Before her death, Hayashi transferred 1.3 million yen to Yamamoto’s bank account. Hayashi was diagnosed with ALS in 2011.

Now, the same two doctors have been prosecuted in the death of Yamamoto’s father, Yashushi, who died on March 5, 2011, at the age of 77. Kyodo news reported:

Police served the doctors with fresh arrest warrants and arrested Junko Yamamoto on May 12. They discovered emails between the three discussing the cremation of Yasushi Yamamoto and how to write his death certificate.

He had been hospitalized in Nagano Prefecture for a mental disorder, but the three had him discharged on March 5, 2011, for transfer to a different hospital, according to investigative sources. He was allegedly killed later that day.

His death certificate, which said he died suddenly due to disorders in the heart and blood vessels, was signed by another doctor, a mutual acquaintance of Naoki Yamamoto and Okubo.

But that doctor told the police he had not signed any death certificate, the sources said.

This case shows how doctors who kill, even when it’s illegal, will often have done a similar act before.

I will keep you up-to-date on these cases.

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