SEOUL, Aug. 13 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of individuals in South Korea registering their decision to end life-sustaining treatment has reached the 1 million milestone.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare said that in the three years and six months since patients were first allowed to decide upon life-sustaining treatment, the number of submissions of a written application that dictates the will of the patient over 19 years of age on life-sustaining treatment reached 1,000,056 people on August 10.
The South Korean institution on life-sustaining treatment allows patients or their family members to decide upon whether to continue or suspend life-sustaining treatment to ensure death with dignity.
Among those who have submitted the document, 169,217 people have actually suspended life-sustaining treatment.
The data revealed that 22.4 people per 1,000 (2.2 percent) over the age of 19 have submitted the forms. A majority of them were seniors, including those in their 60s (3.4 percent), 70s (11.8 percent), and 80s or higher (9 percent).
The proportion of life-sustaining treatment plans filed by doctors based on submitted documents or the will of terminal stage patients also jumped from 35.1 percent in the first quarter of 2018 to 41.7 percent in this year’s second quarter.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)