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S. Koreans pick 'not being burden on family' as best way to die well

2018/10/10 17:21

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SEOUL, Oct. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Koreans have picked not being burden on their family as the best manner in which to face death -- in a sharp contrast to their counterparts in the United States and Britain -- a local survey showed Wednesday.

In his paper announced this month in the medical journal Supportive Care in Cancer, Yun Young-ho, a professor at Seoul National University College of Medicine, said most of the 4,176 South Korean cancer patients and their families involved replied that imposing a minimal financial burden constituted a good death.

The respondents picked the presence of family members in the last moments of a terminally ill patient's life as the second-best condition of a good death, and dealing with the patient's possessions and tidying up their surroundings as the third most important thing, the paper said.

In contrast, U.S. patients and their families thought that feeling no pain, finding spiritual peace and the presence of family were the three most significant factors at the moment of death. British people selected facing their last moments of life in a familiar environment, maintaining dignity in the face of death and facing the hour of death at a designated place, it said.

"It's time for Korean society to set a goal of dying well as westerners do. It's time to have a discussion in this society to establish systems that could back up plans for dying well," the professor said.

This graphic image shows which factors patients and their families in four countries prefer at the moment of death in a survey conducted by a team led by Seoul National University professor Yun Young-ho. (Yonhap)  This graphic image shows which factors patients and their families in four countries prefer at the moment of death in a survey conducted by a team led by Seoul National University professor Yun Young-ho. (Yonhap)

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