ISSN 2330-717X

South Korea: Law Prompts Call For Death Education


Education on advance care planning for incurably ill patients is crucial for the proper implementation of a new Korean law that will allow patients to say no to life-prolonging treatment was a key message from a church seminar.

Seminar participants discussed the necessity of education to help assist Koreans properly understand the meaning of death so that the new law can be correctly implemented once it becomes enforceable from January 2018.

“The implementation of the act should aim for promoting an advanced care planning culture through conversations between patients and medical teams,” said Father Sebastian Jung Jae-woo who attended the May 21 seminar organized by the Korean bishops’ Committee for Bioethics and the Seoul Archdiocese’s Committee for Life.

“Especially, we need to prepare thinking and sharing ideas on ethical aspects of medical treatment,” the priest said.

The seminar also discussed developing guidelines for life prolongation decisions based on Catholic values.

The church has been critical of aspects of the law such as how it lacks a process that checks a patient’s intention and on matters related to family members deciding a patient’s intent. The church has also been critical of the media’s coverage of the issue.

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UCA News reports about the Catholic Church and subjects of interest to the Church in Asia. Through a daily service, UCA News covers lay activities, social work, protests, conflicts and stories on the faith lives of the millions of Catholics in Asia.

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