TAKAMATSU, Kagawa Pref. – A doctor was handed a court order Thursday to pay 54.5 million yen to the family of a woman who committed suicide in 2000 after her right leg had to be amputated due to a mistake he committed.
The Kanonji branch of the Takamatsu District Court ordered the 44-year-old doctor, whose name has not been released, to pay the sum to the husband and three children of the woman, who was 51 when she killed herself. The family had demanded 89 million yen in compensation in the civil suit.
The court ruled the malpractice led to her suicide, with Judge Yasuhiko Kobayashi saying she “suffered from a neurotic condition after her leg was amputated. The suicide was predictable and the medical accident can be recognized as a reasonable cause for her death.”
During the July 1999 operation to remove varicose veins, the doctor mistakenly took out an artery instead of a vein, causing necrosis in her right leg. The woman’s leg was amputated at another hospital and she killed herself at her home in April 2000, just before her daughter’s wedding.
In the doctor’s criminal trial before the district court, he was sentenced in November to a suspended one-year prison term for professional negligence. He has appealed.