04/25/2006, 00.00
SOUTH KOREA
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Hwang case: egg donors sue researchers and government

The compensation sought is "symbolic, but serves to expose problems linked to this research and to send a warning to society about disregard for bioethics".

Seoul (AsiaNews/CI) – Two women who donated eggs for embryonic stem cell research by the disgraced cloning scientist, Hwang Woo-suk, are demanding 32 million won (US,000) in damages.

The lawsuit was filed last week with the Seoul District Court: those being sued are MizMedi Hospital, the place where the eggs were taken, Hanyang University Medical Centre and the government.

According to the charge, the medical team led by Hwang "failed to provide sufficient, accurate information on the usage of their eggs and side effects from the extraction processes". The health structures are being sued for "physical and psychological damage", while the government has been held responsible "in its capacity as one of the most ardent supporters of Hwang's research and thus his accomplice".

The donors, supported in their legal battle by 35 women's rights groups, said the compensation requested is "symbolic, but it serves to expose problems linked to this research and to send a warning to society about disregard for bioethics". They added: "We also believe our case will help to prevent the recurrence of similar cases."

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