Thursday, July 15, 2010

South Korea did not legalize euthanasia.

This is the letter that I sent to the AFP news service who incorrectly reported that South Korea legalised euthanasia.

The following article from your news service is not clear, it says that South Korea will legalize euthanasia and then the article is about removing life support from terminally ill people. The article states: "They agreed that doctors could stop prolonged life-sustaining treatment, based only on prior written or oral statements from patients."

It appears that South Korea has approved the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment which is not euthanasia. Euthanasia is the direct and intentional killing of a person for reasons of mercy. This has not been legalized in South Korea

The article doesn't refer to the issue of fluids and food, and therefore until I see the actual guidelines I must say that euthanasia has not being legalized in South Korea, but rather discontinuing life-sustaining treatment has been approved.

You need to be more careful with your reporting because these ethical issues effect many people and if you incorrectly report on an issue you create confusion.

Alex Schadenberg
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Link to the article - S.Korean legalises euthanasia for terminally ill:

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