SEOUL, Jan. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — Almost half of South Koreans were willing to stop life-sustaining treatment on their deathbed.
Professors Yun Young-ho and Park Hye-yoon from Seoul National University Hospital, in collaboration with a research team led by Dr. Kim Young-ae from the National Cancer Center, conducted a survey on 4,176 people (1,241 ordinary citizens, 1,001 cancer patients, 1,006 family members of patients, 928 doctors) from July to October 2016.
The survey showed that 46.2 percent of ordinary citizens planned to submit an application form to stop life-sustaining treatment, commonly referred to as a “Do-Not-Resuscitate” or DNR order.
The same was the case for 59.1 percent of cancer patients, 58 percent of family members, and 63.6 percent of doctors.
The percentage increased as health conditions worsened.
If diagnosed with end-stage cancer, 68.3 percent of ordinary citizens planned to file a DNR order, while 74.4 percent of cancer patients, 77 percent of family members and 97.1 percent of doctors said likewise.
A DNR form is provided to patients in advance to ask if they are willing to stop life-sustaining treatment once a doctor confirms that the patient is approaching death, and participate in a hospice treatment to go through the final stage of life with ease.
“The results show that people are willing to participate in the treatment plan as long as the conditions are properly shaped,” said Park.
“Developing programs that could better meet the needs of citizens and patients will help many people go through the final moments of their lives with ease and comfort.”
“We have to promote and inform the public in order to change the culture regarding any discussion of death as taboo,” added Yun.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)