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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

"Medical Criminal Code" A Seminar by Professor Katsunori Kai
- A Deep Field of Learning -

MS.Sayoko Nogami
March 2009 Graduate, School of Law

Medical Criminal Code. Most people cannot grasp the concept of these words upon hearing them. Even within the School of Law, most people ask me "So, exactly what are you doing?" However, I am actually studying something that is a very familiar issue. Stated simply, Medical Criminal Code is laws that deal with issues arising in medicine. It may be easier to understand the contents of Medical Criminal Code by raising specific issues such as malpractice, death with dignity, and surrogate birth. All of these issues can often be seen in newspapers recently.

Waseda Law School: Students gather around Professor Katsunori Kai (author is in the front row, second from right)

A special characteristic of Medical Criminal Code is that there is no correct answer. For example, in the case of surrogate birth, there is the position of a woman who cannot physically give birth to a baby yet truly wishes to become a mother. On the other hand, there is the position that a child born through surrogate birth will be negatively affected by having two different mothers. In this issue, it cannot be clearly stated that either of the positions are incorrect. Students of Medical Criminal Code use judicial precedent as material for debating these kinds of issues. In most cases, there is a division of opinions within the seminar, and there is unceasing and heated debate that continues until the end of the class. These kinds of debates do not end with a discussion of law, but often enter the field of ethics. An appealing aspect of this seminar is that everyone can engage equally in debate, including eloquent students, students who are not good at expressing themselves, students with a rich knowledge of law, and students who engage in emotionally-charged argument.

Professor Katsunori Kai provides support for this Medical Criminal Code seminar. Professor Kai is active in the field of Medical Criminal Code and often participates in overseas academic conferences. As a result, he discusses not only issues relating to Japan, but also the newest information from various countries. Also, students secretly look forward to receiving souvenirs from overseas. Our seminar has a small number of students, with not even 10 students participating, but this just means that each student is closer to the Professor. Participants in the seminar range from 2nd to 5th year students and everyone has a completely different personality, yet the seminar proceeds very smoothly. Medical Criminal Code seems to be a deep field, both academically and emotionally.

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)