End-of-Life Decisions: A Survey of the Perspectives of People in Korea, China, and Japan


  • Ivo Kwon Ewha Womans University
  • Kenji Hattori Gunma University
  • Kook-bong Lee Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • Claire Junga Kim Ewha Womans University


Three East Asian countries, Korea, China, and Japan, have shared a similar cultural background throughout history. This is the basis of the assumption of Asian values in the field of bioethics. However, different processes of modernization and healthcare systems have resulted in considerable differences. Along with the aging process, end-of-life care issues have been increasing in importance in these three countries. We conducted a study of 899 lay persons in 3 countries regarding their perspectives about end-of-life decisions; favorable ways of decision-making in end-of-life care; institutional and legal devices; withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment; and euthanasia. We confirmed several similarities and noted some differences among the three countries.


end-of-life decision, advance directives, assisted dying, asian bioethics