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Hospital to Appeal Euthanasia Ruling to Supreme Court

Posted December. 18, 2008 07:26,   


Severance Hospital in Seoul will appeal a recent ruling supporting euthanasia directly to the Supreme Court.

Filing a direct appeal to the Supreme Court means bypassing proceedings at an appeals court. To do so, the hospital must obtain consent from the family who filed the lawsuit.

The hospital said yesterday, “Due to the significance of this matter, we have held ethics committee meetings attended by outsiders seven times. We decided to file an appeal directly to the Supreme Court since any matter regarding life should be handled with the utmost prudence. The case should also not create a social climate in which life is disrespected.”

The Seoul Western District Court late last month made an unprecedented ruling that a brain-dead woman should be taken off life support at her family`s request, clearing the way for euthanasia in Korea. The woman had said before going into a vegetative state that she wanted to die a natural death.

The family’s attorney Shin Hyeon-ho said, “The decision reflects Severance Hospital’s attempt to transfer its responsibility to the court. We think the hospital does not necessarily need to directly appeal to the Supreme Court. It will not be late even if it appeals to the Supreme Court after listening to public opinion and understanding the decision of the appeals court.”

“After discussing it with my client, I’ll let the hospital know the opinion of the plaintiff Dec. 18.”