Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Kim fined in Korea matter involving K.Y. Cha

The Los Angeles Times reported: The Seoul Central District Court found that Dr. Jeong-Hwan Kim had damaged the reputation of Kwang Yul Cha, a fertility doctor and chancellor of a South Korean university with ties to Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center. Kim was fined $750.

The decision was reached in July 2008. The Times stated:

The court found Kim guilty on July 9, 2008.

The documents related to the case were released by Cha this week. In a written statement, he referred to the verdict as "vindication."

Kim could not be reached for comment.

Kim will have to pay a fine of 1 million South Korean won, which amounts to about $750.

Cha is the chancellor of the Medical School at South Korea's Pochon CHA University. A branch of the university owns Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center.

Cha had sued California doctor Bruce Flamm over an op-ed written by Flamm which, in part, related to the Cha/Kim publication matter. Cha lost at trial.

**UPDATE. Comment to californiastemcellreport on 10 April 09 -->

The oblique reference to the Cha / Flamm matter is informative to the matter at hand. Flamm's primary concern was with one article co-authored by Cha which involved the impact of prayer on pregnancies through IVF. The Journal of Reproductive Medicine (JRM), which published the study (K.Y. Cha, D.P. Wirth, and R.A. Lobo, "Does prayer influence the success of in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer?" 46:781-787, 2001), not only refused to publish letters critical of it, they refused to even acknowledge their receipt. As months went by the JRM steadfastly refused to respond to e-mails, calls, or letters about the study. Wirth later went to federal prison [on an unrelated matter] and Lobo denied significant involvement in the JRM paper, but the paper remained, unretracted. Flamm got into trouble with Cha primarily for a remark about a DIFFERENT paper co-authored by Cha.
See for example

The better policy, as David Jensen suggests, is one of open discussion of issues. When dialog is suppressed, one wonders "why." As an aside, the '639 patent litigation illustrates how much money can be wasted when a simple error is not corrected.


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