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The Ethics of For-profit Healthcare and Medical Tourism in South Korea

John M. McGuire 1

1한양대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

On December 18, 2015, South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare formally approved the establishment of Korea’s first corporate-owned for-profit hospital. The establishment of this hospital, which will be named Greenland International Hospital (GIH), raises two distinct but overlapping sets of ethical concerns. One set of concerns relates to the fact that GIH will be engaged in for-profit medicine, which some believe is incompatible with the ethical principles that are thought to govern medical practice. The second set of ethical concerns relates to the fact that GIH is being established in an effort to further develop Korea’s burgeoning industry in medical tourism, an industry that has recently attracted academic interest in light of the ethical concerns that it raises. In this paper I draw on some of the existing literature concerning the ethics of for-profit medicine and medical tourism in an attempt to shed light on the ethical issues involved in the recent decision by the South Korean government to approve the establishment of GIH.

Citation status

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