KANAZAWA, Ishikawa Pref. – A high court ordered the state Wednesday to pay 720,000 yen to the family of a deceased woman who was subjected to clinical tests in a state-run hospital without consent.
In February 2003, the Kanazawa District Court awarded the family 1.65 million yen. The reduced ruling was handed down by the Nagoya High Court’s Kanazawa branch.
The state appealed the district court order.
Presiding Judge Eikichi Nagato said: “The treatment at the hospital was also used as an experiment. The hospital has the obligation to explain it, given that the best treatment may have been forgone.”
The district court said doctors at Kanazawa University Hospital did not inform the woman that her treatment was also intended for research purposes. The court acknowledged that the doctors did take time to explain to the woman the significance of her treatment and its possible side effects.
Beginning in 1995, doctors at the hospital conducted clinical tests involving two types of chemotherapy on the woman, who had ovarian cancer. The woman was registered, without her consent, as a patient for the treatment.
The tests were discontinued in January 1998 after the chemotherapy caused her kidney trouble. She died at another hospital in December that year.
The university claimed in the high court that the tests were not experimental but part of regular treatment.
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