South Korea

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Republic of Korea
Region Asia
Population 49044790
GDP (millions USD) 957,053
National Policies
Eggs for assisted reproduction commercial prohibited
Eggs for research commercial prohibited
Inheritable genetic modification PROHIBITED
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis social uses prohibited
Reproductive cloning PROHIBITED
Research cloning regulated
Sex selection PROHIBITED
Surrogacy commercial prohibited
International Agreements
2005 UN Cloning Vote no
2005 UNESCO Sports Doping Convention RATIFIED


Key laws and policies

  • Life Ethics Law (January 29, 2004)
  • Bioethics and Biosafety Act (2005)
  • Ministry of Health and Welfare, Guidelines on the Safety of Biotechnology Research (2000)

Prohibited practices

Sex Selection

  • Sex selection is prohibited.

Commercial Transactions Regarding Gametes

  • Compensation as well as obtaining personal benefits (monetary or non-monetary) for the use of gametes is prohibited.

Reproductive Cloning

  • Reproductive cloning is prohibited.

Gene Transfer and Modification

  • The Bioethics and Biosafety Act prohibits gene transfer of gametes, embryos, and fetuses.
  • The Guidelines on the Safety of Biotechnology Research prohibit all inheritable genetic modification.

Commercial Surrogacy

  • Surrogacy is unregulated in South Korea but ethical guidelines issued by the Korea Medical Association discourage its use if the surrogate mother is attempting to give birth in exchange for money.

Assisted Reproduction

  • Two persons of the same sex cannot be the parents of a child.
  • Posthumous insemination is not permitted.

Permitted and regulated practices

Embryonic Stem Cell Research

The Life Ethics Law regulates embryonic stem cell research. According to the law, only supernumerary embryos produced for infertility treatments can be used for research. Thus, the creation of embryos for purposes other than infertility treatment is prohibited. However, the government will approve limited research on somatic cell nuclear transfer based on the guidelines drawn up by the National Ethics Committees.[1]

Assisted Reproduction

  • Any medical institution wishing to conduct artificial fertilization, perform DNA testing, or generate embryos through fertilization must obtain prior authorization from the minister of health and welfare.
  • Procedures must be performed by obstetrician or medical specialist with 3 years experience working with embryos.
  • IVF, ICSI, GIFT, and ZIFT are all permitted.
  • There are age restrictions.

Gamete Donation

  • Cannot donate eggs more than 3 times
  • Sperm donation: unspecified
  • Anonymity optional
  • Financial compensation is prohibited.

Legal Parentage

  • The woman who gives birth will be the legal mother, regardless of any ART, and the husband of the woman giving birth will be the legal father.

Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis

  • The Bioethics and Biosafety Act regulates biotechnologies in general with no specific mention of PGD or PND. However, under the Act, tests on embryos or fetuses can only be performed to diagnose muscular dystrophy or other DNA-related disease.

The Act also bans sex selection and prohibits obtaining personal benefit (monetary or non-monetary) in exchange for sperm or oocytes.

Embryo Storage and Research

  • Embryos may be stored for up to five years, following which they may be used for research aimed at developing contraception and infertility treatments, or research aimed at curing rare or incurable diseases, as decreed by the president.
  • Violators of the Act are subject to imprisonment or fines.

Altruistic Surrogacy

Surrogacy is unregulated, but some altruistic arrangements may occur.

Accountability and governance

Reproductive Cloning

  • Human reproductive cloning is prohibited and subject to criminal sanctions for up to ten years in prison.[2][3]

External links

[edit] References

  1. Daar, Abdallah S., et al. "Legal and ethical approaches to stem cell and cloning research: a comparative analysis of policies in Latin America, Asia, and Africa." Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Winter 2004: 626+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 3 Aug. 2015.
  2. “Biological Ethics Bill Passed by National Assembly,” Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare, Press Release, (14 January 2004).