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Medical Research Governance in Korea: The New Bioethics and Biosafety Amendment Bill (Draft 17-8353) or 'Inertia Reiterated'

Harmon, SHE   Kim, N

SCRIPTed   5 (3) 575-582

January 2008

Korea has experienced a brief period of high turnover of ideas and reform proposals in the medical law field, which is undergoing a significant transformation in both the clinical and research settings as a result of technological innovations. Just as it seemed a new research regime had been agreed through the combination of the Bioethics and Biosafety Amendment Bill, and the Reproductive Cells Utilisation and Supervision Bill, politics intervened. These proposals, were abandoned and the 'wholesale amendment' of a legal regime that had failed so dramatically to curb the excesses and dishonesty of the 'Hwang era' was abandoned with them.

This analysis piece examines the new Bioethics Amendment Bill (Draft 17-8353), which was immediately thereafter introduced and adopted in Korea, and it considers whether the conclusions reached in the authors' previous article in this journal - A Tale of Two Standards: Drift and Inertia in Modern Korean Medical Law - are still supported in the new medical research setting.