Friday, May 22, 2009

Even South Korea beat you to it, America

The US has long paraded itself as a forerunner for legal, civil and socio-political rights, yet once again another, substantially smaller and less renown country beat them to legalizing a critical person's right. A South Korean court has opened the doors to a possible legalization of human Right-to-Die following the ruling that an aging woman, stuck in a coma for over a year, was to be let off her artificial life-sustaining equipment and finally die in peace.

The ruling is the first of its kind by the country's Supreme Court and settles a case that began more than a year ago after Kim Ok-kyung, 77, lapsed into a coma following a botched operation, The Korean Times reported Friday.

Testimony indicated Kim had no chance of recovery.

"In this condition, extending her life is meaningless and against her right to die with dignity," Chief Justice Lee Yong-hoon said in the ruling.

Justice Lee said before falling into a coma, Kim had indicated that she would not want to be kept alive by machines.

Following the verdict Thursday, families of two other comatose patients applied for the right to remove them from life support equipment.

Earlier, Seoul National University Hospital announced it would allow terminal cancer patients or their families decide whether to remain on life support.

Glad to see they're already starting an example and leading the race for Right-to-Die in the area. Now if only this feeling of rational sense would make its way into the heartland of America ... hmm?


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