More than 3,000 have signed up for the die with dignity program since hospitals in South Korea started carrying out end-of-life care trials, government data showed Thursday.
On Oct. 20, 13 hospitals launched a program to allow terminally ill patients with no possibility of recovery to forgo treatment before the relevant law comes into force next year. The law, which will take effect in February, was passed by the National Assembly in January last year.
According to the data by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, a large number of terminally ill patients signed necessary documents saying they would opt to stop receiving medical treatment.
During the three-month trial operations, hospitals consulted patients or their family members on details of end-of-life care.
The nation's Supreme Court recognized a comatose patient's right to die with dignity in 2009 and ordered a hospital to remove her respirator, noting that continuing treatment just to prolong life without hope of recovery violates an individual's basic dignity. (Yonhap)