current issues, law

On Euthanasia: Which Side Do You Lean On?


Different strokes for different folks, as they say. But on a serious topic as euthanasia, will the adage still ring true? Would it be tolerated, at least by some sectors of the society? On moral grounds, would you lean towards doing euthanasia? On legal grounds, would you favor legalizing it?

This question came to mind as I came across a Korean Times article today wherein a Korean court is set to make a landmark decision with regards to euthanasia. I guess this is important as this decision will be the jurisprudence from hereon here in South Korea.

The necessity to make a ruling stems from the current case of a 76-year old woman, Kim Ok-kyung, who had lapsed into a coma since February. Expenses incurred by the family has already reached more than 14 million won.  But, of course, the family’s reasons go beyond the monetary concerns. In such a very sensitive case, it is expected that other sectors, mostly those leaning on the opposite side will be quick to voice out their opposition. The current case is no exception.

Some countries have legalized euthanasia. The Netherlands, in April 2002, was the first country to legalize the practice as long as it conforms to the basic requirements set out by the law. Belgium followed in September of the same year. Other countries include the State of Oregon, The Northern Territory of Australia, Norway, Sweden and Finland.

Honestly, I wouldn’t want to be confronted with this question if it’s going to concern anyone I know. You just don’t think about the moral grounds here. You have to think about the patient, too. Would the patient want to hold on to dear life (even life in this case is debatable)?

If I am the patient, though, I would want euthanasia performed on me. I wouldn’t want to be a burden when death is obviously just staring and waiting for me.

What’s your take on this?

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