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Korea: first constitutional appeal is filed

On December 28th, 2023, the Korea Association of Right to Die (KARD) and a group of lawyers jointly filed a constitutional appeal seeking a public hearing in the case of Mr. Lee Myung-sik. Following a paralysis and increasing suffering as a result, Mr. Lee sought the possibility of assisted dying in Switzerland at Dignitas, but upon hearing that his daughter would be tried for abetting a suicide, he decided to initiate legislative action to ensure she would not be tried.

As this is the first legislative action on the topic of assisted dying, KARD expects it to raise a lot of debate. Despite an Assisted Death with Dignity Act having been proposed to the National Assembly in 2022, it has yet to be discussed. Mr. Lee emailed all 298 members of Congress seeking help, and received an answer from Rep. Shin Hyeon-young of the Democratic Party of Korea who sits in the National Assembly Health and Welfare Committee and is a former doctor. Her concern was that, “… if the (assisted death with dignity) bill is advanced in a hasty situation where preparations are not made, it will be met with great resistance or a wall…”

KARD was established in 2022 to advocate for legalization of assisted dying in Korea and has over 170 members.

Read more: (749) [뉴스B] 한국 불치병 환자 첫 ‘안락사’ 헌법소원…’죽을 권리’ 논쟁 / JTBC 뉴스룸 – YouTube

JTBC News Korea’s First ‘Euthanasia’ Constitutional Petition for Terminally Ill Patients…’Right to Die’ Debate (