UPDATE : Tuesday, November 19, 2019
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TV drama criticized for instigating copycat murder of doctor
  • By You Ji-young
  • Published 2019.01.04 15:59
  • Updated 2019.01.04 15:59
  • comments 0

Viewers of a TV drama “Sky Castle” have bombarded the broadcaster JTBC with criticizing comments that a particular scene inspired a mentally ill patient to commit a copycat murder of a psychiatrist.

The scene depicted a patient, angered by a poor result of spinal surgery, wielding a knife against a doctor, one of the lead characters.

Scenes of the TV drama “Sky Castle” on JTBC depicted a patient threatening a doctor with a knife. (JTBC)

Not long after the scene was aired, Lim Se-won, a psychiatrist at Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, died from multiple chest wounds after being stabbed by his patient on Monday.

On the online bulletin board of the drama, angry viewers demanded JTBC producers apologize for allegedly encouraging a copycat crime.

“It was shocking to see a patient threatening a doctor with a knife in a drama,” one viewer said. “The scene could implicitly allow people to think that patients could act like that and to copy such behavior unconsciously. Just as I was worried, the drama scene was reproduced in the real world.”

Korean Medical Association on Tuesday said the latest incident showed that violent crimes could occur not only in an emergency room but anywhere within a medical institution

“It also demonstrated how our society’s perception of violence against doctors is far from what we want to achieve,” KMA said, adding that the event was “a tragedy already predicted.”

The doctors’ group noted that the scene of “Sky Castle” -- where the patient dissatisfied with the surgery result chases the doctor holding a knife – was not supposed to be funny.

“Even if the suspect may not have copied the crime from the drama, the TV scene may have sent a wrong signal to viewers that patients could curse at medical staffs or attack them if they are dissatisfied with treatment results,” KMA said. “So, the broadcaster should never air this kind of scenes.”

On Dec. 20, KMA demanded producers of “Sky Castle” at JTBC apologize for depicting a scene where a patient threatens a doctor with a knife and the doctor stopping him by shooting a gas pistol.

At the time, the group said violence at medical institutions was a crime that inflicts serious threat to the safety of patients and guardians. “For the public health and the safety of patients, violence at medical institutions should be rooted out as soon as possible,” KMA said.


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