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Court Declines Euthanasia for Comatose Woman
The Chosunilbo ^ | July 11,2008

Posted on 07/11/2008 10:47:58 PM PDT by Tamar1973

A court on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by the family of a comatose 75-year-old woman to let her die. Kim’s children said their mother, who survives on life support, had the right to die with dignity so she would not have to continue living a meaningless life and asked for permission to remove the respirator and discontinue injections and feeding. But the Seoul Western District Court said that stopping treatment conflicted with the principle of the absolute value of life, and there was no way to confirm Kim’s own will.

The court ruled that even family members do not have the right to make a decision that would cut somebody’s life short. Though Kim used to say she would not want to rely on a respirator when her health deteriorates to a irrecoverable state, the court said the decision was not made when sufficient information was available to her and could therefore not be treated as a living will.

Kim has been comatose since February 2008 when she sustained brain damage from bleeding. In May, Kim’s children petitioned to be allowed to switch off life support. It was the first court case on euthanasia to be heard in Korea.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: coma; euthanasia; korea; righttolife; southkorea
It seems that Korea has a better "culture of life" than Italy (which has been Christian for over 1500 years) and the USA (which was founded by Christians).
1 posted on 07/11/2008 10:47:58 PM PDT by Tamar1973
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To: wagglebee; 8mmMauser

Korean right to life ping.


2 posted on 07/11/2008 10:49:40 PM PDT by Tamar1973 (Catch the Korean Wave, one Bae Yong Joon film at a time!)
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To: Tamar1973
Kim has been comatose since February 2008 when she sustained brain damage from bleeding. In May, Kim’s children petitioned to be allowed to switch off life support. It was the first court case on euthanasia to be heard in Korea.

In my mind, removing a person from life support systems is NOT euthanasia. I do not consider disconnecting/turning off a respirator euthanasia. It is a decision that many families have to make when a loved one reaches the end of his life. How long after there is no hope for recovery should a person be kept alive artificially? These are decisions that we did not have to make a century ago...but we do now...and it is never easy.
3 posted on 07/12/2008 12:13:43 AM PDT by goldfinch
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To: Tamar1973

“conflicted with the principle of the absolute value of life, and there was no way to confirm Kim’s own will.”

didn’t we used to have one of those principal thingies here? too bad Terry didn’t live in Korea.


4 posted on 07/12/2008 3:07:42 AM PDT by Awestruck (All the usual suspects)
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To: Tamar1973
When Barrack Hussein Obama was asked what he thought about “Euthanasia” he replied “I pretty much think they're like youth anywhere else.”
(HUMOR)
5 posted on 07/12/2008 3:38:55 AM PDT by Proverbs 3-5
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To: Tamar1973
Pinged from Terri Dailies

8mm


6 posted on 07/12/2008 4:11:34 AM PDT by 8mmMauser (Jezu ufam tobie...Jesus I trust in Thee)
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To: Tamar1973

This is sad. The family, not the courts, state, or church have the right to speak for her when she can’t.


7 posted on 07/12/2008 5:42:56 AM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: goldfinch; Drango
In my mind, removing a person from life support systems is NOT euthanasia….How long after there is no hope for recovery should a person be kept alive artificially? These are decisions that we did not have to make a century ago...but we do now...and it is never easy.

You are right in that it is never an easy decision. In late December of 1996 my mother was admitted to the hospital with a suspected heart attack because of chest pains and a history of heart problems. She was admitted to the coronary intensive care unit at Johns Hopkins. I visited with her late on the evening of December 31st and she, while in pain was awake and alert. The last words she said to me before I left were “Pray for me”. After I was home for a few hours, I got a call from the hospital that she had gone into respiratory arrest and they needed my permission to put her on a ventilator which of course I agreed to.

Within the next 24 hours, she was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis and moved to the medical ICU.

By the time I picked up my dad and got to the hospital, she had become unconscious and unresponsive and the doctors at Hopkins, to their great credit and their dedication to saving lives, they did everything humanly and medically possible they could possibly do to save her life. But over the course of the next two weeks, despite all the treatments and all the medical life support, she never regained consciousness and her pancreas was pumping digestive enzymes and toxins throughout her entire body and literally “digesting” her pancreas and other internal organs. She was put on kidney dialysis after a few days as her kidneys stopped functioning and her liver function had become critically low and the toxins were having an effect on her brain function. She was on every life support system possible but every organ in her body was shutting down and there was nothing that could be done to stop it.

Her doctors did not initially give up on her but after two weeks of intensive care, they came to us, her family and gave us the painful news that there was nothing more they could do and gave us the option of continuing life support that was only going to delay the inevitable for a few weeks or even months or to remove her from artificial life support and let her pass peacefully.

We, her family along with her doctors decided that the right thing to do was to discontinue life support. My father and brother were devout Catholics but did not see the discontinuation of her life support as euthanasia or a rejection of their faith but rather an acceptance of God’s will as they understood it.

I have a problem with courts deciding these end of life decisions one way or another. I have much more faith in my doctors and my family to make these decisions for me than I do some judge.
8 posted on 07/12/2008 6:22:57 AM PDT by Caramelgal (Just a lump of organized protoplasm - braying at the stars :),)
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