Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963954 | Print ISBN: 9781412959087 | Online ISBN: 9781412963954| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
SOUTH KOREA HAS made stem cell research headlines several times, thanks both to the use of cord blood cells in treating spinal cord injury and to the research fraud scandal of Hwang Woo—Suk. Similar to many other Asian nations, South Korea is more permissive of embryonic human stem cell research than most Western countries. This difference in attitude is often credited to the fact that Asian countries lack a history of abortion debates, which in the Western world have put a premium on unborn human life and have underscored the beliefs of at least some Christian Westerners that life begins at conception or during gestation. Though South Korea has been subject to diligent Christian missions, especially in the years since the Korean War, its philosophical and moral heritage remains fundamentally Confucian. Though Confucius does not in his writings specify the moment at which life begins, any more than the Bible ...