Saturday, December 13, 2008

"Executives sued for stance over diseased kidney transplant

"MATSUYAMA--A group of kidney disease patients filed a damages suit against five executives of The Japan Society for Transplantation on Wednesday, claiming the society violated their right to choose medical treatment by encouraging a ban on diseased kidney transplants.

"In the suit filed with the Matsuyama District Court, the seven plaintiffs--three who underwent kidney transplants and four who are on artificial dialysis--in Ehime Prefecture demanded about 60 million yen in compensation from the five executives, including the society director.

"According to the suit, the society erroneously stated in March last year that transplanting diseased kidneys is experimental medical care and denied the validity of the procedure.

"The suit further claims that the society's stance led the central government to ban the transplants in principle, even though they are an indispensable form of treatment.

"The group also plans to file a suit against the central government over its revision in July last year of guidelines for the Organ Transplant Law to ban the transplants in principle, demanding state compensation and acceptance of the transplants.

"Shinichi Oshima, a defendant in the case and the president of the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology who was serving as vice director of the society at the time of the statement, said: "I just stated an opinion as an expert based on the medical standard at the time. I didn't intend to violate the rights of patients.""

By Yomiuri Shimbun (12/11/2008), Link to article (last visited 12/13/2008)

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