08/27/2013, 00.00
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Archbishop of Seoul: Instead of talking about euthanasia, the government should aid terminally ill

by Joseph Yun Li-sun
Parliament begins debate on the introduction of euthanasia in Korea. Archbishop Yeom to AsiaNews: "Unacceptable to stop necessary treatments of patients in the name of other interests. The government needs instead to help those who suffer. "

Seoul (AsiaNews) - "My opinion on Euthanasia coincides with that of the Catholic Church: I am against it. Death should be a natural process" the Archbishop of Seoul, Msgr. Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, tells AsiaNews commenting on the Korean National Commission of Bioethics proposal to Parliament.

The proposal presented by the Commission - which rose to public prominence in the country for allowing the research of Dr. Hwang Woo-suk, who falsely claimed he could clone humans - recommend that doctors stop life-prolonging treatment for vegetative or terminally ill patients. According to the text "a document stating the patient's will is necessary," but for terminal or unconscious patients "it should be the family to decide".

Parliament began the discussion of the text this morning. "It is unjust - continues Msgr. Yeom to use unnecessary and even harmful medical treatments to patients. It is also unacceptable to cease necessary treatments and put forward the time of death artificially. If a treatment is "medically appropriate and necessary", it is right to continue it. On the contrary, if the treatment is "useless and unnecessary", it is not right to do it. Catholic doctrine in this regard is very clear. "

Instead of arguing for euthanasia, says the bishop, "there are practical conditions that need to be arranged: the establishment of the Hospice and Palliative care system, expansion of facilities, activation of Hospital Ethics Committees, education for the health care provider, improvement of public perception on death, financial support for the dying patients...etc. Without the above conditions, the intent of the Recommendation may cause negative result of approving the contempt for human life".



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