In January last year, Korea passed a law that would allow terminally ill patients to seek the right to die when there is no chance for them to recover.
The law is expected to come into full operation in January 2018 but before that, starting this week thirteen hospitals in Korea will run a trial of the new system.
The law will not allow euthanasia, which is when an action is taken to end a life to relieve suffering, but will instead allow patients to die naturally through things such as the withholding of treatment or the turning off of life-support machines.
Such treatments include respirators and certain cancer treatments.
According to The Ministry of Health and Welfare, during the trial period which will last for three months hospitals will consult with terminally ill patients or, if the patient is incapable of making the decision, their family members in relation to their end-of-life care.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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