Korea will allow terminally ill patients to choose death with dignity by discontinuing life-supporting treatment.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare said it will allow passive euthanasia for terminally ill patients on a trial basis starting from next week before fully implementing it by February next year.

Life-support treatments include cardiopulmonary resuscitation, respirators, hemodialysis and cancer treatments.

Only terminally ill patients with no chance of recovery can opt to refuse life-support. Such patients must also show no positive responses to medication, or experience a rapid deterioration in health leading to imminent death.

Those seeking to die with dignity must have their prognosis confirmed by their primary physician and one other doctor.

If a patient is comatose, two of his or her family members will make decisions on continuing life-support treatments.

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