South Korea Supreme Court OKs Feeding Tube Removal, Euthanasia Worries
by Steven Ertelt
November 28, 2008
Seoul, South Korea (LifeNews.com) — The Supreme Court of South Korea has issued a ruling allowing the family members of a terminally ill woman to remove her feeding tube and take her off life support. The decision is opening up the Asian nation to concerns that the ruling could lead to assisted suicide or euthanasia.
The case apparently involved a family that did not have a dispute like the one that embroiled Terri Schiavo’s family and her ex-husband.
The debate in the Asian nation is not so much over the case itself but the effects of it.
That’s because lawmakers in the National Assembly have filed legislation that could take the decision further down the slippery slope.
Park Jung-woo, spokesman for the Life and Ethics Committee at the Archdiocese of Seoul, told the Korea Times newspaper that a patient choosing to withdraw his own treatment is one thing but removing treatment from someone else is different.
Choo Soo-ho, president of the Korean Medical Association, also spoke with the newspaper and said he doesn’t want to see the courts or legislature allow euthanasia.
"Doctors have always felt we need to draw the line between euthanasia and death with dignity," he said.
"We do not seek to give up the treatment of difficult patients, leading to euthanasia. We are referring to those without any hope and just pain and dread left,” he added.
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