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Korean Medical Association strongly opposes assisted suicide bill 

by | Jul 11, 2022

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Korean Biomedical Review reported that the Korean Medical Association (KMA) expressed serious concerns about a proposed bill to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide. They expressed that legalizing assisted suicide will permit legal suicide.

Rep. Ahn Gyu-back of the opposition Democratic Party proposed the bill to legalize assisted suicide and exempt the doctor from criminal charges of aiding a suicide. But it also confuses assisted suicide with euthanasia.

The Korean Biomedical Review reported that the KMA consulted their membership and stated on Friday July 8 that there are diverse social views among physicians in Korea and no social consensus exists on the issue. They also encouraged the government to

expand the scope of hospice and palliative care to improve patients’ quality of life and provide psychiatric and psychosocial support.

The KMA provided constructive criticisms of the bill, the process, and assisted suicide. They were concerned that:

  • The committee examining the bill may allow suicides without objective evaluations.
  • The legal definition in the bill is ambiguous between murder and assisted suicide.
  • The bill defines “people eligible for assisted death with dignity” as terminally ill patients but “terminally-ill patient” has no social or medical definition.
  • Adding assisted suicide will hamper the consistency of the law and cause confusion for physicians and people
  • The bill conflicts with the Suicide Prevention Act.

Korea needs to consider the horrific experience with legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide (MAiD) in Canada and reject following a similar social experiment in Korea.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.

Categories: Euthanasia
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