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Changes of Generally-accepted Idea in the Society on Tattooing and Its Subsequent Challenges

  • Legal Theory & Practice Review
  • Abbr : LTPR
  • 2022, 10(3), pp.11-32
  • Publisher : The Korea Society for Legal Theory and Practice Inc.
  • Research Area : Social Science > Law
  • Received : August 5, 2022
  • Accepted : August 23, 2022
  • Published : August 31, 2022

Park Jeong Il 1

1원광대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Today, tattoos have been turned into not objects of hatred that must be hidden but means of expressing individuality and aesthetic sense. The current legislation sees tattoo procedures as actions that can cause health and hygiene hazards if medical personnel do not perform. However, the reality is that many people go to tattoo parlors instead of medical institutions to get tattoos. The main reason is that the doctor's license can not guarantee the subjects’ satisfaction of aesthetic desires that they want. The subjects that want to get tattoos also think artistic ability and manual dexterity is more important than anything. In this situation where the gap between norms and reality is very large, many tattoo companies have steadily raised questions with related provisions such as the Medical Service Act, which prohibit non-medical personnel from performing tattoo procedures. In 2022, the Constitutional Court recognizes again that the provisions are constitutional. However, in the 2022 Constitutional Court decision, there was an increase in the number of members that pointed out the unconstitutionality of the provisions compared to the precedent in 2016. It seems to reflect changes in social norms for the relevant provisions, so in the next decision, it is expected that legal interpretation will be made to break away from the general and uniform prohibition. It is true that the freedom for non-medical personnel to perform tattoo procedures has been excessively limited due to a broad interpretation of the scope of medical practice. As society develops, people’s awareness of rights relief is growing. So it is considered that conflicts between medical occupation group and medical-like occupation groups including the tattoo procedure occupation will ensue more frequently. Protection of the lives and health of people cannot be subject to concessions and compromises. Though it is true that tattoo procedures intentionally cause irritation and change in the skin and require maximum attention, considering the impact on the body, it cannot be said that it does require a high level of ability and quality that only doctors can have. The emphasis on hygiene for tattoo facilities and treatment tools is more important value. Therefore in the tattoo law to be enacted later, it is necessary to reorganize regulatory measures to effectively secure hygiene before and after tattoo procedures so that non-medical people can resolve their doubts about securing the safety of tattoo procedures.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.