Writing in November 2015 in the journal “Cell Stem Cell”, Dr Tsunakuni Ikka & others report on what appears to be the first court decision on a compensation claim arising from stem cell treatment at a private clinic.

Recent court ruling in Japan exemplifies another lawyer of regulation for regenerative therapy” refers to a decision of the Tokyo District Court on 15 May 2015. The claimant was provided, at her home, with an allogenic stem cell infusion using materials initially obtained from a staff member at a related institution. The treatment was intended to address unexplained systemic numbness. The patient did not improve but rather she continued to deteriorate and ultimately required the use of a wheelchair.

The claim appears to have succeeded on the basis of a failure to properly diagnose the patient’s condition and to explain to her the potential benefits and risks of the procedure.

The patient’s compensation provided for recovery of the fees she had paid, along with an amount for ‘personal consolation’.

[With thanks to Professor Tetsuro Hirano, Ritsumeikan University, for his kind assistance with this note.]

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