Petitioning 内閣総理大臣 内閣総理大臣 安倍晋三 and 1 other

End long-term restraint in psychiatric care (精神科医療における身体拘束の状況の改善を求める)



Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Minister of Health, Labour, and Welfare Yasuhisa Shiozaki


End long-term restraint in psychiatric care 

March 31, 2018 (anticipated date of submission)

Alliance against physical restraint in psychiatric care


1)     Prohibit the practice of long-term (exceeding 24 hours) restraint in Japanese psychiatric care.

2)     Immediately investigate the possibility of human rights violations in Japanese psychiatric care due to unnecessary and lengthy use of physical restraints.

3)     Implement policies requiring visualization (e.g., video footage) whenever physical restraint is employed, and allow access to such recordings for patients or next of kin within 14 days to determine the actual conditions employed.

4)     Set concrete benchmarks to which to lower the number of restrained patients, the average length of restraint, and a proposed date by which such benchmarks should be met.

5)     Instruct the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare to ensure that hospitals provide medical records to patients or their surviving family members in the case of serious medical incident or death.



1)     In regards to physical restraint in psychiatric care, the Criteria for Treatment Established by the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare in accordance with Article 37, Paragraph 1 of the Act on Mental Health and Welfare for the Mentally Disabled states that "because physical restraint is highly limiting and has the potential risk of causing secondary physical damage, it is a method of limiting movement that should only be allowed as a temporary solution when unavoidable until an alternative solution is found, and efforts must be made to switch to an alternative method as soon as possible." However, according to data from the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, the number of patients being restrained is increasing and had already exceeded over 10,000 as of 2014 – the highest ever recorded, and more than double the number a decade earlier[1].

2)     According to a survey of 689 patients in 11 hospitals published in 2016, the average length of restraint was 96 days[2]. In other countries, average restraint times are on the range of a few hours or dozens of hours. These data were discussed at the 193rd parliamentary meeting of the committee on Health, Labour, and Welfare, but Japan continues to be far out of line with international standards.

3)     Multiple patients have died while restrained[3,4]. In 2017, 27-year-old Kelly Savage, a dual citizen of New Zealand and USA, was restrained for 10 days in a psychiatric hospital in Kanagawa Prefecture until he suffered a cardiac arrest that led to his death. This incident has been widely reported by the New Zealand Herald[5], UK Guardian[6], and various international news outlets. This is not an isolated incident – the length of Kelly’s restraint was well below the national average.

4)     Article 25 of the Constitution of Japan states that "all people shall have the right to maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living. In all spheres of life, the State shall use its endeavors for the promotion and extension of social welfare and security, and of public health." As such, Japan has a responsibility to address the problem of physical restraint in psychiatric care.







1) 精神科病院内において、長時間(24時間以上)の身体拘束を禁止すること。

2) 精神科病院内において、身体拘束による人権侵害が起きていないかを早急に調査すること。

3) 精神科医療における身体拘束による人権侵害や死亡が起きることがないように、精神医療の現場において、身体拘束の実施過程を録画などで可視化し、実施後に検証できるように14日間以内に患者本人もしくは遺族に公開すること。

4) 身体拘束の実施人数の縮減し、実施期間の圧縮が図られるよう、目標値を設置し、実現向けて政府としてリーダシップを発揮すること。

5) 患者、遺族への診療情報の提供については、厚生労働省の「診療情報の提供の指針」に基づき、情報の開示がなされるよう、病院に対し、強力に指導すること。





3)このような状況のなか、身体拘束中に患者が死亡することも起きている[3,4]。ニュージーランドの27歳の青年ケリー・サベジが2017年に日本の精神科病院に入院し、10日余りで心肺停止になりその後死亡した事件は、ニュージーランドヘラルド[5]、英国ガーディアン[6]等、海外メディアでも大きく報じられている。この事件は例外ではなく、むしろ身体拘束の時間は日本の平均時間よりも短かかった 。



References (参考資料): 
[2]長谷川利夫. (2016). 精神科医療における隔離・ 身体拘束実態調査 ~その急増の背景要因を探り縮減への道筋を考える~. 病院・地域精神医学, 59(1), 18–21.
[3] Dickson BC, Pollanen MS: Fatal thromboembolic disease: A risk in physically restrained psychiatric patients. J Forensic Leg Med 2009; 16:284–286.

[7]外国特派員協会 記者会見 YouTube

【ホームページ 精神科医療の身体拘束を考える会】

This petition will be delivered to:
  • 内閣総理大臣
    内閣総理大臣 安倍晋三
  • 厚生労働大臣
    厚生労働大臣 塩崎恭久

    Alliance against physical restraint in psychiatric care (精神科医療の身体拘束を考える会) started this petition with a single signature, and now has 2,198 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.

    Stand with Alliance against physical restraint in psychiatric care (精神科医療の身体拘束を考える会)

    Alliance against physical restraint in psychiatric care (精神科医療の身体拘束を考える会) needs your help with “内閣総理大臣 安倍晋三: End long-term restraint in psychiatric care (精神科医療における身体拘束の状況の改善を求める)”. Join Alliance against physical restraint in psychiatric care (精神科医療の身体拘束を考える会) and 2,197 supporters today.