Go to contents

Euthanasia Patient`s Kin to Sue Hospital for More Damages

Euthanasia Patient`s Kin to Sue Hospital for More Damages

Posted June. 26, 2009 07:31,   


The family of a 77-year-old patient expected to be Korea’s first euthanasia case is seeking additional damages from Yonsei Severance Hospital.

Kim Ok-gyeong’s relatives yesterday sent a document to the Seoul Western District Court to change the reason for its lawsuit against the hospital and raised the amount of the damages sought to 140 million won (109,000 U.S. dollars).

The attorney for the patient’s family, Shin Hyeon-ho, said, “We will seek additional compensation because the hospital performed illegal and unjust medical treatment,” adding, “Given that Kim is breathing on her own after the removal of her respirator, the attachment of the respirator constituted excessive treatment that caused unnecessary suffering to the patient. For example, Kim lost her teeth because of the respirator.”

In addition to overtreatment, Kim’s family complained of broken family relations due to forced separation; violation of the right to appropriate treatment; and damage stemming from the deprivation of freedom of expression. The family had originally sought 60 million won (47,000 dollars) in compensation.

In response, the hospital said, “We will make no announcement that could cause unnecessary misunderstanding until the court ruling comes out.”

In February last year, Kim slipped into a coma while undergoing a test for pneumonia. Her family sued the attending doctor and another physician for malpractice and filed a malpractice suit against the hospital in March the same year.