More than 3,600 people have already signed up for death with dignity by discontinuing life support treatment just 45 days after a trial run of new laws allowing it.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare said on Thursday that 3,611 people have signed up for passive euthanasia for terminally ill patients, for which the trial run started on Oct. 23.

The number is expected to rise sharply after full implementation starts on Feb. 4 next year.

Only terminally ill patients with no chance of recovery can opt to refuse life support like cardiopulmonary resuscitation, respirators, hemodialysis and cancer treatments, and they can choose which ones they will forego.

Anyone above the age of 19 can choose after consultations with medical experts. The choice can be revised later. 

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