Attitudes toward the Legalization of Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide in South Korea: A Cross-Sectional Survey

Young Ho Yun, Jin Ah Sim, Yeani Choi, Hyejeong Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the general South Korean public attitudes toward the legalization of euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide (EAS) and examine the reasons underpinning these attitudes. From March-April 2021, we conducted a cross-sectional survey of a representative national sample of 1000 South Koreans aged 19 years or older. Three in four participants (76.4%) expressed positive attitudes toward the legalization of EAS. Participants who agreed with this legalization reported "meaninglessness of the rest of life" and "right to a good death" as their main reasons. Participants who disagreed with the legalization of EAS reported "respect for life", "violation of the right to self-determination", "risk of abuse or overuse", and "violation of human rights" as theirs. In the multivariate logistic regression analyses, participants with poor physical status (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 1.41, 95%; confidence interval [CI]: 1.02-1.93) or comorbidity (aOR: 1.84, 95%; CI: 1.19-2.83) showed positive attitudes toward the legalization of EAS. In summary, most of the general South Korean population regards the legalization of EAS positively, especially participants with poor physical status or comorbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5183
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume19
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2022

Keywords

  • Attitudes
  • Euthanasia
  • General population
  • Legalization
  • Physician-assisted suicide

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