Korean Perspectives on Stem Cell Research: A Nation-wide Survey
The scandal of Dr. Woo-Suk Hwang’s fabricated research paper in 2005 increased the Korean general public’s awareness of the importance of bioethics and research ethics in the stem cell research. In 2008, the Bioethics Policy Research Center(BPRC) conducted a survey to find out public opinions regarding this issue. The result of the survey provides the overview of the general public’s current understanding and perspectives toward the stem cell research and other researches using SCNT stem cell or the technique of nuclear transfer between different species. Most respondents indicated that they agreed with carrying out the “Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer(SCNT)” stem cell research, although they showed the opinion of somewhat disappointed with the performance of the SCNT stem cell research. However, more than half of the respondents “strongly disagreed” or “disagreed” with the nuclear transfer between different species regardless of the religion, age or gender. Concerning human egg donation, many respondents indicated that the human egg donation could be allowed for some specific purposes such as the treatment for infertility, but sharply divided opinions were captured in this survey on the issue of giving monetary compensation to egg donors.