SEOUL, June 8 (Korea Bizwire) — The vast majority of senior citizens in South Korea hope that they will pass away without causing any inconvenience to family members or friends, data showed Monday.
The state-run Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs conducted a survey of 10,097 senior citizens and asked what they thought it meant to ‘die well’.
An overwhelming majority of 90.6 percent of the respondents said that ‘dying well’ would involve not imposing any burden on family members and friends.
Other responses included ‘death without physical or mental pain’ (90.5 percent), ‘solitary death’ (89 percent), and ‘meeting death surrounded by family’ (86.9 percent).
At 85.6 percent, most seniors opposed unnecessary life-sustaining treatment.
However, only 4.7 percent had completed their advance directives, prior consent by seniors expressing their wish not to receive life-sustaining treatment, indicating that more efforts are needed to raise public awareness about advance directives.
Asked if they were preparing for their passing, 79.6 percent respondents said they were preparing for their funeral.
Only 27.4 percent, however, were preparing for the tasks that involve a senior’s right to self-determination, including writing a will (4.2 percent), settling inheritance (12.4 percent), completing advance directives (4.7 percent), and signing a consent form for organ donation (3.4 percent).
Asked about their preferred type of funeral, 67.8 percent picked cremation, outnumbering burials (11.6 percent). Another 20.6 percent said they had not yet decided.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)