TOKYO, December 17, 2002 ( – The Tokyo-based Japan Society for Dying with Dignity is claiming 100,000 members in support of a “dignified death” for the terminally ill.  Spokesman Masafumi Takai credited “the rapid aging of society [and] the rise of interest in self-determination regarding terminal treatment,” adding that three-quarters of members are over age 65 and nearly 70% are women.  Membership began to rise in 1990 after the Japan Medical Association reaffirmed the right of terminally ill patients to decline life-prolonging treatment.  For newswire coverage see:   For related coverage see:  JAPANESE CABINET PANEL APPROVES RESEARCH ON HUMAN EMBRYOS ABORTIONS BY MINORS HIT RECORD HIGH IN JAPAN HEALTH MINISTER SAYS “JAPANESE RACE” WILL SOON BE EXTINCT


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