By Jung Min-ho
More than 76 percent of people in Korea support legalizing euthanasia, or physician-assisted suicide, according to a recent opinion poll.
A survey by Professor Yun Young-ho at Seoul National University College of Medicine showed 61.9 percent of respondents said they would "strongly agree" to making a law for access to the controversial medical procedure, while 14.4 percent said they would "agree."
Only 2 percent said they would "strongly disagree" with such legislation, while 21.7 percent said they would "disagree."
In the same survey conducted in 2016, about 50 percent said they would support it.
The No. 1 reason for their support in the latest poll was "the rest of life is meaningless (30.8 percent)," followed by "the right to a dignified death (26 percent)," "less pain (20.6 percent)," "less burden for the family (14.8 percent)" and "less burden for society (4.6 percent)."
Nearly 45 percent of those opposed to the procedure picked "respect for life" as their reason.
"The results show that more efforts should be made to lessen physical and mental pain for patients and help them live their lives more meaningfully," Yun said in a press release.
To another question about "well-dying," or refusing to receive meaningless life-sustaining treatments, 85.9 percent of respondents said they would support it.
Asked whether "well-dying" could be considered an alternative to euthanasia, 85.3 percent said "yes."
Worldwide, only a few countries, including the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, have legalized euthanasia under strict circumstances.