A survey suggests seven out of 10 Koreans approve of negative, or passive, euthanasia, while more than half also approve of the positive, or active, kind. The result comes as the death of severely brain-damaged Terri Schiavo after a seven-year legal battle to withdraw life support is making worldwide headlines.
Hallym University law professor Lee In-yeong said Friday 69.3 percent of respondents to a recent survey agreed that doctors should stop providing care when terminally ill patients in severe pain insist on their right to die. Only 27.5 percent disagreed with terminating care.
The survey was conducted on 1,020 people from 16 cities and provinces according to population percentage. In passive euthanasia, doctors accept requests from patients with no possibility of recovery, or proxies like their families, to terminate care keeping them alive.
According to the survey, 56.2 percent also approved of positive euthanasia, in which doctors -- at the patient's request -- kill terminally ill patients who are in great pain using drugs or other medical methods. But 39.1 percent disapproved.