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Life support system removed from comatose woman

The life support system that kept a 77-year-old comatose woman alive was removed by her doctors Tuesday morning in what has become the first real-life practice of a patient's "right to die" in South Korea.

The removal came after the country's highest court ruled May in favor of the patient's family, which had requested that the woman, Kim Ok-kyung, be taken off life support to allow her to die in dignity.

Kim had been in a vegetative state for more than a year and is said to have expressed her desire to die without being kept on a life support system prior to lapsing into a coma.

The case has become a landmark that many hail as a sign of progress in recognizing the rights of patients.