South Korea Embryonic Stem Cell Research Scientist Hwang Hospitalized

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 7, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Korea Embryonic Stem Cell Research Scientist Hwang Hospitalized Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 7, 2005

Seoul, South Korea ( — Embryonic stem cell research scientist Hwang Woo-suk, who admitted lying about egg donations made by two junior researchers, has been hospitalized because of stress and fatigue, doctors said Wednesday.

Hwang was admitted to Seoul National University Hospital, spokesman Pi Ji-young told the Associated Press.

Though the South Korean government hopes to get Hwang back in the lab soon, Hwang’s doctor said he would not be able to work for some time. Sung Myung-hoon, another hospital employee told reporters it would probably take a week before Hwang would be able to return to work.

"Prof. Hwang’s health has deteriorated because of dehydration caused by extreme stress," Sung told the CHosun newspaper in South Korea. "Hwang’s health condition requires stable medical care in hospital for a week as he has lost a considerable amount of weight in a short time."

YTN television in South Korea broadcast footage of Hwang lying in a hospital bed.

After denying the donations for a year, last month Hwang admitted to the world that he had been covering up for two of his female researchers who donated their eggs and didn’t want their names to be revealed.

Hwang’s admission led to an international scandal that saw his key American research partner, University of Pittsburgh researcher Gerald Schatten, ended his involvement and many other scientists and research firms pull out of participating with Hwang’s international embryonic stem cell bank.

Pro-life groups oppose embryonic stem cell research because it requires the destruction of human life. It also has yet to produce any cures or treatments while adult stem cells have produced dozens of treatments for various conditions.