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Hokkaido doctor faces murder charge

A doctor at a Hokkaido hospital is suspected of murder over a case in which a 90-year-old patient died in February last year after his respirator was switched off. It will be the first time in Japan that the police have charged a doctor with murder for halting life-sustaining treatment.

The patient’s family is believed to have agreed to the shutting down of the respirator after the doctor told them the man was brain-dead. The patient was ­hospitalized after getting food stuck in his throat. The 33year-old female doctor is suspected of switching off the ­respirator the next day.