Chiropractic + Naturopathic Doctor

Prosecutions in South Korea

Maria DiDanieli   


July 12, Toronto, ON – This is a special news release and
report by the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) on the prosecution of chiropractors in South Korea, and an appeal to all chiropractors and
chiropractic organizations to donate funds as you are  able to the Korean Chiropractic Association
(KCA) in South Korea.

Background information
and current situation

in South Korea,
KCA President, Dr. Taeg Su Choi is 
appealing a recent conviction and five other KCA members are facing



In South Korea,
chiropractors, and other health professionals not recognized by law such
as acupuncturists, face two major opponents. The first is the Korean Medical Association
(KMA) representing the medical profession. The second is the Oriental Medical  Doctors’ Association (OMDA), which represent
a large and powerful group of regulated OMDs who  provide chuna (manipulation techniques –
taught with translated versions of chiropractic text books), herbal remedies
and acupuncture.

and the OMDA have been reporting chiropractors to the police, thus leading to multiple
prosecutions against chiropractors, since the first Korean chiropractor Dr.
Yong Serb Song returned from Palmer
College in the early
1990s. Dr. Song, the first President and founder of the KCA, was convicted
three times before he passed away in 2001. His son and daughter, Dr. Joonn-Han
(Steven) Song and Dr. Su-Hie (Katrina) Song, are also Palmer graduates and have
also faced prosecutions.

Over the
years many chiropractors, most prominently anyone brave enough to become part
of the KCA, have faced prosecutions and convictions. Several have had second
and third convictions and not only large fines but suspended prison sentences,
forcing them to leave their homes and country for new lives in Australia,
Malaysia, Singapore, the USA and elsewhere.

convicted chiropractors, including Dr. Katrina Song, have appealed to the Constitutional Court.
Their argument has been that Koreans have a constitutional right to choose and
receive natural forms of healthcare that relieve pain and suffering, and
chiropractors have a constitutional right to offer their services. The current
medical law is too wide and unconstitutional in restricting those rights.

In early
cases the panel of nine judges all supported the medical law. When Dr. Katrina
Song appealed in 2001 two of nine judges found in her favour, and all said that
the government should be reviewing the situation. However, facing the threat of
a one year suspended term of imprisonment, Dr. Song had to abandon chiropractic

 Each year
the Constitutional Court
has become more supportive as brave KCA leaders and others have continued in
practice, faced prosecution and conviction, and then appealed. A majority of
six of nine judges is required for success. Acupuncturists have also continued
fighting appeals. In an acupuncture appeal last July the Constitutional Court
had five of nine judges ruling the medical law was unconstitutional – one short
of victory.

Current Situation

The current
President of the KCA is Dr. Taeg Su Choi, a 1998 graduate of Life Chiropractic
College who practices in Changwon City
in South Korea.
He has been KCA President since December 2003 and has been an inspirational
leader. Working with Congressman Kim, he arranged joint KCA-WFC symposia at the
Korean National Assembly in Seoul
in 2005, 2006 and 2007. He has written policy documents on chiropractic for
legislators and an impressive book on chiropractic
for the general public titled No Surgery,
No Drugs, Chiropractic Medicine

Dr. Choi
has faced five prosecutions since 2004 – in other words since becoming KCA
President. The most recent began on a complaint from the OMDA. He was convicted
and fined $3,000. On legal advice he appealed to both the Constitutional Court and within the
general court system. In the general court appeal he received probation.

Dr. Choi
has now launched a further appeal in the general court system and is waiting
for hearings
there and in the Constitutional

important appeals are naturally supported and made on behalf of the KCA. The
legal team of three lawyers is led by Taewon Park,
a leading lawyer in the field who has won many cases relative to massage
therapy and acupuncture. He was involved in the acupuncture appeal before the
constitutional court last year.

current conviction and appeal relates to Dr. Junyong Ahn, a 2006 Palmer College
graduate who has practiced in the capital Seoul
for the past five years. In the Lower
Court he was convicted and fined US$5,000. His
case is now on appeal before the Supreme Court.

month, formal chiropractic clinics were investigated by local health officers
and one new prosecution has begun”, reports Dr. Taeg Su Choi. “This is from
complaints from the KMA and OMDA which continue to try to get rid of the
chiropractic profession in South

The KCA,
which once had approximately 60 members, is currently reduced to 17 members
because of the hostile environment to chiropractic practice in Korea. Most of
these 17 already have at least one conviction.

The WFC,
which will itself be making a donation, asks you to be generous in supporting
the KCA at this pivotal time for the survival and success of the chiropractic
profession in South Korea.


send funds to the KCA at 

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