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    Tens of thousands refuse ‘extension of life’ in South Korea

    Tens of thousands refuse ‘extension of life’ in South Korea

    Tens of thousands of terminally ill patients decided to die withouth life-saving medical assistance over the past year after a new that allowed “dying with dignity” came into effect, a news report said on Wednesday.

    The law went into effect on February 4 last year, allowing patients to sign up to forgo a “meaningless extension of life” by stopping or postponing four life-sustaining treatments, Yonhap news agency reported.

    It took nearly two decades of national debate before the South Korean National Assembly passed the so-called “dying-well” law. The issue drew public attention after two doctors were convicted of assisted murder and given suspended prison terms in 1997 for ending the life of a brain-damaged patient at the request of his wife.

    Since the law passed, 35,431 patients opted to die without receiving any further medical treatment, according to the ministry of health and welfare.

    There were 21,291 male patients with the remainder women.

    Data also showed about 16,000 terminally ill patients have so far registered with authorities to die with dignity without receiving further treatment.

    Another 113,000 people sent a letter of intent to hospitals and public organisations to stop receiving treatment once they become terminally ill.

    SOURCE:
    Al Jazeera and news agencies








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