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Daisuke MORI





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Nurse - Poisoner
Number of victims: 1 +
Date of murder: November 24, 2000
Date of arrest: January 6, 2001
Date of birth: April 28, 1971
Victim profile: Yukiko Shimoyama, 89 (patient)
Method of murder: Poisoning (overdose of vecuronium bromide)
Location: Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan
Status: Sentenced to life in prison on March 30, 2004

Daisuke Mori (守 大助 Mori Daisuke, born April 28, 1971) is a Japanese nurse who was suspected as a medical serial killer. He was convicted of giving muscle relaxant to his patients in a clinic in Izumi-ku, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture.

Mori was suspected of a murder of 89-year-old woman Yukiko Shimoyama on November 24, 2000. He was also suspected of four attempted murders; a 1-year-old girl on 2 February 2000, an 11-year-old girl on 31 October 2000, a four-year-old boy on 13 November 2000 and a 45-year-old man on 24 November 2000. He was arrested on January 6, 2001.

When he was arrested, he was reported to have murdered at least 10 people. However, he insisted on his innocence four days after his arrest. He may have protected his girlfriend. There were also many problems and mysterious deaths in his hospital, so his lawyers insisted that he was accused as their substitute. The U.S. newsmagazine Time criticised Japanese hospitals as well as him.

The district court in Sendai sentenced him to life imprisonment on March 30, 2004. Japanese police insisted that Vecuronium's molecular mass is 258, but this true molecular mass is 557. His defense pointed out this contradiction on the high court, but the high court in Sendai upheld the original sentence on March 22, 2006. He appealed to Supreme Court, which upheld the sentence on February 25, 2008.


Nurse gets life for patient slaying

The Japan Times Weekly

April 10, 2004

A male nurse was sentenced March 30 to life in prison for killing an elderly patient and attempting to murder four others at a Sendai clinic in 2000 by administering muscle relaxant.

Wrapping up 32 months of proceedings, the Sendai District Court ruled that Daisuke Mori, 32, had intent to kill and was the only one capable of administrating the intravenous doses at the times of the crimes.

Mori was convicted of killing Yukiko Shimoyama, 89, and trying to murder four other patients, including a 1-year-old girl, in separate incidents at Hokuryo Clinic in 2000. Another of the four, a girl aged 11 at the time, remains unconscious.

Mori immediately filed an appeal. He had pleaded not guilty, insisting the charges against him had been fabricated by police.


Very Questionable Care

The nurse may have done it—but the country's health care system could also be to blame

By Tim Larimer - Tokyo -

January 22, 2001

On halloween night last year, an 11-year-old girl in Sendai, 350 km north of Tokyo, complained of a tummy ache. A doctor at a private clinic diagnosed appendicitis and admitted her. Just 25 minutes later, the girl's condition deteriorated rapidly to the point where she had trouble breathing and lost consciousness. Her doctor, Ikuko Handa, panicked. What was wrong with the little girl?

The answer stunned Japan, and provided the latest graphic evidence that a sickened health care system needs a prescription—and fast. If police allegations are true, a male nurse at the clinic, Daisuke Mori, attempted to kill the girl by mixing a muscle relaxant into her intravenous saline and antibiotic solution. While such a deed is clearly criminal, the possibility that a nurse was able to administer drugs without monitoring highlights once again the lack of transparency and accountability of Japan's medical establishment.

Doctors, nurses and hospitals have been rocked by charges of malpractice recently—there were a record 638 such suits filed against medical institutions in 1999—unusual in a country where patients traditionally haven't been allowed to see their own medical records. Terminally ill patients typically aren't given accurate diagnoses, and even after they die, their families aren't informed fully about the cause of death. In 1999, a Yokohama hospital performed a heart operation on a lung patient and a lung operation on a heart patient. Last year, at least three patients died when given the wrong medicine or improper dosages. A survey of nurses in 2000 found that one in six admitted they had mixed up patients when administering drugs. Previous attempts at legislative reforms have been blocked by the powerful Japan Medical Association. But patients are slowly demanding to know what's wrong with them and what's in the medicine they are taking. "Paternalism in medicine hasn't changed a bit," says Naoki Fukuchi, a lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice. "People, and doctors themselves, have a fantasy that doctors are infallible. And doctors are eager to hide their mistakes."

Nurse Mori has been using this institutionalized unaccountability to hide a sadistic pattern of murder by drip, according to police. After the 29-year-old nurse began working at the 18-bed Hokuryo Clinic in March 1999, at least eight patients died under peculiar circumstances, including a five-year-old boy with asthma who expired in the clinic while his mother had returned home to collect clean clothes for him. And newspapers report that police suspect 11 other patients worsened after Mori handled their intravenous drips. "This is the most atrocious crime I've ever experienced," Miyagi prefecture police chief of criminal investigations Hideo Kuramoto said at a press conference on Jan. 6, after arresting Mori on suspicion of attempted murder.

If Mori is found guilty, he would join a pantheon of sociopath killers masking as caregivers, including Britain's notorious "Dr. Death," Harold Shipman, linked this month to nearly 300 patient deaths. What's all the more tragic about Mori's case is that he had aroused suspicions among his colleagues, who nicknamed him "Fast-Change Mori" because the condition of his patients often reversed course quickly, and dramatically, without a reasonable explanation. "I thought it happened too much to be a coincidence," a nurse at the clinic told the daily Asahi Shimbun. Sloppy record-keeping of drug supplies also prevented the clinic from discovering Mori's alleged misdeeds earlier. Clinics of this size are required by law to employ a full-time pharmacist, but Hokuryo didn't have one on staff for the past two years. When Dr. Handa, the clinic's deputy director, inspected the pharmacy cabinet in November, she discovered a dwindling inventory of the muscle relaxant. That was odd, because the clinic had used it in just 10 surgeries that year. But despite Handa's suspicions, she continued to let Mori work at the clinic. More than two weeks went by before the police were informed. "It was so terrifying that I couldn't ask him about it," Handa said at a press conference. Her clinic, covered in a blanket of snow, was closed last week.

The little girl in Sendai remains in a coma today. Last week, her parents posted a note on their front door, begging to be left alone. "Please understand," it read. "She's still unconscious. Looking back at the past just makes us cry." The chilling reality is that more victims may emerge: before joining the Hokuryo Clinic, Mori had worked at four other health clinics in Miyagi prefecture.


Japanese nurse kills 10 patients, says wanted to trouble hospital

Deutsche Presse Agentur

Thursday, January 11, 2001

Atleast 10 hospital patients were killed after being administered a lethal dose of a muscle relaxant by a male nurse, who was arrested on suspicion of attempting to kill an 11-year-old girl, news reports said on Wednesday.

Asahi Shimun newspaper, quoting police sources, said that the drug, vecuronium bromide, was administered intravenously by Daisuke Mori to 20 patients, 10 of whom died while another eight remain in a critical condition. The other two Hokuryo Clinic patients recovered from the potentially fatal doses. The report said Mori had admitted to attempting to murder the 11-year-old schoolgirl and also confessed to administering the drug to other patients.

At a Sunday’s news conference after the arrest of Mori, clinic’s vice director Ikuko Handa said she grew suspicious of the way the 11-year-old girl’s condition deteriorated. She consulted a forensic medicine expert in November and was told about the possibility of the use of muscle relaxant. She notified police in December. Handa also said she was aware of an ‘‘unnatural’’ fall in the hospital’s supply of muscle relaxant after the suspect began working there. Mori reportedly told police that he was not satisfied with his salary and working conditions and he wanted to put the hospital and its owners into great trouble.


Daisuke Mori

January 10, 2001 

A nurse at a clinic in Sendai, Kyodo, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder is being investigated over the deaths of five other people, all elderly, at Hokuryo Clinic in 1999 and 2000.

Daisuke Mori, 29, was arrested on suspicion of trying to kill an 11-year-old girl, who was admitted to the hospital with apparent appendicitis on October 31.

Mori admitted he gave the girl an unauthorized intravenous dose of the muscle relaxant vecuronium bromide, which caused the girl to lapse into unconsciousness.

Mori worked as a licensed practical nurse at the private hospital from February 1999 until last month. Police said he admitted administering the drug to other patients during that period. An overdose of vecuronium bromide can kill within two minutes of being injected, as it can affect the heart muscle.

A worker at a nursing facility near the hospital in Sendai's Izumi Ward said the nursing home sent five people, aged 85 to 94, to the clinic for treatment during the 22-month period Mori worked there. All of them died within 10 days of being admitted, including one who died the day after being hospitalized.

In one case, an 88-year-old woman took a turn for the worse and died soon after receiving an intravenous drip administered by Mori on the day she was to be discharged from the clinic. A doctor at the clinic said the cause of death was stroke and that "it was not rare" for the health conditions of elderly people to suddenly worsen, family members said.

Police are investigating the connection between Mori and the deaths but will not yet say if he was directly involved, the sources said. He is also reportedly being questioned over the death of a kindergarten boy who died shortly after receiving an injection from Mori in September.


Daisuke Mori



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