.- The Bishops of South Korea have rejected a measure that would legalize euthanasia in the country. Supporters of the measure are euphemistically labeling the proposal “death with dignity.”
The president of the bishops’ Committee on Bioethics, Bishop Gabriel Chang Bong-hun of Cheongju, said in a recent statement that euthanasia is “the deliberate murder of a person,” which supporters are attempting to portray as something moral, when in reality it is not.
The debate on euthanasia caught the attention of the public when a 77 year-old man in a coma was taken off a respirator and was still alive 17 days later.
“We do not oppose a patient’s refusal to remain on a respirator when the final moment of life comes and he or she desires to breathe on their own,” Bishop Chang said. “However, this rejection (of a respirator) should not be understood as a will to die. The removal of life support implies interrupting an artificial prolonging of the life a terminally ill patient. In any case, however, basic medical care should not be interrupted, including food and hydration,” he added.
“The serious thing about the term ‘death with dignity’ is that in order to distract from the true meaning of the issue, the word ‘dignity’ is added. But this is nothing other than a euphemism for euthanasia,” Bishop Chang said.