Regulation of Stem Cell Transplantation: An Introduction to a Korean Court Decision
This article provides a general overview of the first Korean Supreme Court decision regarding stem cell transplantation. With the advancement of biotechnological research using different types of stem cells, in Korea, stem cell transplantation has been conducted on patients suffering from difficult to treat illnesses. However, since this treatment had not been subject to any specific Korean legislation, stem cell transplantation was beyond the reach of legal regulations. Under these circumstances, a group of patients who underwent stem cell transplantation filed a compensation suit against a doctor, a hospital, a corporation supplying stem cells, etc. In its decision 2007Da3162, the Korean Supreme Court for the first time officially set forth its position on stem cells, stem cell transplantation, and liability for damages related to stem cell transplantation. This article introduces the details of this court decision and considers the significance of this decision as a guideline for regulating stem cell transplantation.