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Ministry asks police to investigate controversial online community
  • By Kwak Sung-sun
  • Published 2017.06.02 16:59
  • Updated 2017.06.02 16:59
  • comments 0

The public health authorities have brought a criminal charge against “Anaki” – the Korean abbreviation of an online medical community advocating the rearing of children in extremely naturalistic ways -- but controversy has hardly calmed down.

Particularly the medical circles are raising their voices to root out the possibility of another Anaki by conducting a thorough investigation.

The is the letter of request for investigation the Ministry of Health and Welfare sent to National Police Agency (NPA) on May 11.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare보건복지부(MOHW) said Friday it sent the letter of request to the National Police Agency (NPA) three weeks ago to investigate the operators of the online community and other related people. The NPA ordered its regional chapter in Daegu, which has an investigation under way, the ministry said.

Kim Hyo-jin김효진, the oriental medicine doctor who operated the Internet community had advised the members of the Anaki안아키 site to use unscientific methods to treat children, telling them not to vaccinate children and to use salt water, soy sauce and charcoal powder instead of drugs. He also sued to run a herbal clinic in the southeastern metropolis.

The ministry pointed out in the request letter that Anaki violated Medical Service Act and Child Welfare Act. The charges brought by the ministry include unlicensed medical activities, luring patients, therapeutic activities outside of medical organizations, and damaging the dignity of medical workers. The ministry said Anaki violated Provision 6, Article 17 of the Child Welfare Act, which calls for protecting, rearing and treating children while not leaving them alone.

“We should take swift measures and conduct a concrete investigation, but the administrative probes have their limitations because the site is closed,” the ministry said. “So we requested the agency to raid its office.”

The medical community said the police have to investigate Anaki and all other similar groups that advocate absurd and groundless medical treatments.

“The government should grasp exact situations concerning this incident and conduct an exhaustive investigation,” the Korean Medical Association대한의사협회(KMA) said in a statement issued later in the day. “Medical activities that directly related to people’s life and health have to be accompanied by verification. Acts that lack in scientific verification and proven effects can’t be recognized as medical practices.”

kss@docdocdoc.co.kr

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