Published online 4 March 2009 | Nature 458, 20 (2009) | doi:10.1038/458020c

News in Brief

Korean egg-donor lawsuit thrown out of court

On 18 February, Seoul District Court in South Korea rejected a lawsuit about the egg-donation procedures used in the cloning research of disgraced former Seoul National University researcher Woo Suk Hwang.

Two women brought the lawsuit against the Korean government, MizMedi Hospital and Hanyang University Hospital in April 2006. The women had donated eggs for Hwang's research at those hospitals (see Nature 440, 1102; 2006).

The women claimed that they had suffered physical and psychological damage because they were not informed about the risks of the procedure, and that the Korean government bore some responsibility because of its uncritical support of Hwang's research. The lawsuit, which requested 32 million Korean won (US$20,000) in damages, was supported by more than 30 women's advocacy groups.

The government's legal case against Hwang on counts of fraud, embezzlement and violation of the country's bioethics law continues. 

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