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zoom RSS 認知症事故判決 介護する側の苦労も考慮した

<<   作成日時 : 2014/04/29 08:51   >>

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The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:13 pm, April 27, 2014
Court considers hardship of caring for senile in lawsuit over rail death
認知症事故判決 介護する側の苦労も考慮した

Last week’s ruling by the Nagoya High Court posed a weighty question: How can we establish a system that will enable people to live at home after developing senile dementia?
 認知症になっても自宅で暮らせる体制をどう築くか。重い課題を突きつける判決である。

The case, which was sent to the court on appeal, involves a suit filed by the Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) seeking compensation from the bereaved family of a man with senile dementia who died after being struck by a train―an accident the railway company claims caused damage because it delayed the train schedule. The high court ordered the man’s wife, who was caring for her husband at home, to pay compensation.
 認知症の男性が列車にはねられて死亡し、JR東海が遺族に遅延損害の賠償を求めた訴訟の控訴審で、名古屋高裁は、介護していた妻に賠償を命じる判決を言い渡した。

There have been a considerable number of cases in which elderly people with dementia have wandered away from their home and become involved in train accidents. The issue is something people providing nursing care for family members can relate to.
 認知症の高齢者が徘徊はいかいし、鉄道事故に遭うケースは少なくない。介護する家族にとって、人ごとではない問題だ。

The accident occurred when the man wandered out and entered the train tracks after his wife had briefly dozed off.
 この事故では、妻がまどろんでいるわずかの間に、男性は外出し、線路内に立ち入った。

In the first trial at the Nagoya District Court, the presiding judge said that the danger of the man being involved in an accident, if he went out, was predictable and that “the wife was at fault for neglecting her duty to constantly watch over him.”
 1審の名古屋地裁は、男性が外出すれば事故が起きる危険性を予見できたとした上で、「妻には、夫から目を離さずに見守るのを怠った過失がある」と認定した。

The high court, on the other hand, ruled that such an accident had not been predictable. The court also rejected the claim that she was at fault for neglect, which constitutes illegal behavior, by taking into account the fact that the wife was trying hard to nurse him. But it still acknowledged her responsibility of paying compensation as the person obliged to supervise her husband since he could not be legally held accountable.
 これに対し、名古屋高裁は「事故は予見できなかった」と判断した。妻らが介護に努めていた点も考慮し、不法行為による過失を否定した。ただ、責任能力のない夫を介護する妻には、監督義務者としての賠償責任を認めた。

24-hour watch impossible

It is virtually impossible for family members to watch sufferers of senile dementia they care for around the clock. If family members are made to shoulder excessive burdens, more and more people will have second thoughts about caring for such patients at home.
 介護する家族が四六時中、認知症の高齢者から目を離さずにいることはできまい。家族に過重な責任を負わせれば、自宅での介護に二の足を踏む人が増えよう。

The fact that the high court halved the amount of compensation the family has to pay in this case indicates it took into consideration the hardship of nursing care givers.
 高裁が賠償額を1審に比べ半減させたのは、介護する側の苦労にも目配りした結果と言える。

Furthermore, the high court pointed out a blunder on the part of JR Tokai, saying, “It can be presumed that the accident could have been prevented” if the railway company had locked an opening in a fence, from which the man is believed to have entered the tracks.
 高裁は、JR東海に対しても、男性が線路に立ち入ったとみられるフェンスに施錠していれば、「事故を防げたと推認できる」と落ち度を指摘した。

The court also said, “It is the social responsibility of public transportation entities to improve safety” by paying consideration to people unable to understand the danger of accidents. We hope all railway companies will take this point seriously.
 事故の危険を理解できない人がいるのを考慮し、「公共交通機関として安全の向上に努めるのは社会的責務」とも述べた。鉄道各社は重く受け止めてもらいたい。

At a time when the number of senile dementia patients has surged in recent years to 4.6 million, and there are long waiting lists to enter special nursing homes for the elderly, it is difficult to care for senile dementia sufferers at nursing facilities alone.
 認知症高齢者は急増し、460万人に上る。特別養護老人ホームの入居待機者も多く、施設だけで介護するのは困難だ。

In 2012, about 9,500 went missing because of senile dementia, of which 359 people were later found dead. It is essential to expand and improve the system for supporting nursing care at home in addition to coming up with measures to prevent accidents involving elderly people who wander away.
 認知症が原因で行方不明になった人は2012年に約9500人に上り、359人は発見時に死亡していた。在宅介護を支援する体制の拡充と、徘徊による事故を防ぐ手立てを考えねばならない。

The government, for its part, should establish around-the-clock visiting nursing care services as well as medical institutions that would dispatch a doctor to the home of a patient whose symptoms have worsened.
 政府は、24時間型の訪問介護サービスや症状の悪化時に往診する医療機関の整備を急ぐべきだ。

It is indispensable to involve community members in countermeasures. The city of Omuta, Fukuoka Prefecture, which sends e-mail alerts to citizens whenever a senile dementia sufferer goes missing, can be a good example for other local governments.
 地域ぐるみの対策も欠かせない。認知症の高齢者が行方不明になると、市民に一斉メールで知らせる福岡県大牟田市の取り組みは、他の自治体の参考になる。

It will also be necessary to study the advisability of establishing an insurance system that would compensate railway companies for accidents involving senile persons.
 事故が起きた場合、鉄道会社に損害金が支払われる保険制度の創設も検討課題になるだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 27, 2014)

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