This year, an online community was at the center of a social controversy. “Anaki,” the Korean abbreviation of the online community advocating the child care in extremely naturalistic ways, was slammed by physicians. Such rearing ways included bathing a child in a burn with hot water and washing a child’s nostrils with soy sauce. Kim Hyo-jin, an Oriental medicine practitioner and the founder of Anaki, was strongly criticized for saying, “I want to throw a nationwide chicken pox party.”
The Korean Medical Association held a news conference with experts in May, calling Anaki a child abuse group and violator of human rights. The KMA said Anaki’s ways were groundless and unscientific methods. Oriental medicine practitioners also shared a similar view.
“Anaki, which denies the general medical knowledge and treatments, can critically hurt the health of young children and infants,” the Association of Korean Medicine said. The association also put Kim on the ethics commission’s review list.
The health authorities also have brought a criminal charge against Anaki. The Ministry of Health and Welfare asked the police to investigate Kim in May, who allegedly breached the Medical Service Act and the Welfare Act for Children. In September, the ministry gave a prior notice to Kim of three-month-and-15-day suspension of qualifications for Oriental medicine practitioner. After probing Anaki, the policy sent Kim and three others to the prosecutors for violations of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act and the Food Sanitation Act in November.
At the National Assembly, the so-called “Anaki Regulation Act” has been proposed. Rep. Park In-sook of the opposition Bareun Party proposed a “Revised Act on Infectious Disease Prevention and Management” to impose a penalty on an outright refusal of vaccines without due reasons.
Kim, the initial advocator, evoked public indignation once again when she appeared on the SBS TV show recently, saying, “I’ve just offered them a choice.”
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