Women, Egg Donation & Ethics: Women’s Rights in Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) Research


  • Kyongjin Ahn


Ethicists primarily focus on the moral status of the embryo when dealing with egg donation and ignore other related ethical issues. For example, ethical considerations about egg donations are absent in Woo- Suk Hwang’s case. In this paper, I examine the ethical debates concerning egg donation on SCNT. Exploitation of women is an ever present possibility when dealing with egg donations. This is no less true with egg donations on SCNT research. Therefore, it is imperative that we address, not only the moral status of the embryo, but also the issue of women’s rights. I present here a critique of the scandal surrounding Hwang’s research from a Korean woman’s perspective. Using ethno-graphy, I examine the concept of “voluntariness” as it pertained to Korean women. I will also locate the experience of women involved in the Hwang scandal within the larger discussion of women and their bodies in Korean society through a nexus of a narrative and Korean radical feminist analysis, which calls for an aggressive legal protection of women’s health in its critique of patriarchal society.

Author Biography

Kyongjin Ahn

Yale University Divinity School






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