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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

Commercialization of Medicine in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuryi n Korea

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2015, v.55 no.2, pp.39-59
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2015.55.2.39

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Abstract

From the 17th century onwards, Joseon society began to see medical practitioners who were not ashamed of searching for profits. These practitioners acted as agents and led Korea towards commercialization. However, Western missionaries and the colonial government slowed the pace of commercialization. Both of them performed medical treatment free of charge as a means to settle in Korea as quickly as possible. Their action consequently prevented Koreans from growing into active consumers. Nevertheless, they were not powerful enough to block the commercialization of medicine. Western missionaries and the colonial government began to retreat from their policy of charity. Furthermore, Korean doctors who had studied Western medicine tried to distance themselves from this benevolent art. They began to blame Korean patients who stuck to old medical ethics and set their sights on the inevitable pursuit of profit. Because of this desire, Korean patients would have no choice but to change, which was the primary reason the status of Korean patients changed from subjects to consumers.

keywords
benevolent art commercialization Western medicine medical missionary charity hospital colonial government

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