SEOUL, Dec. 30 (Korea Bizwire) — The Constitutional Court has ruled again unanimously that there is no problem with the Medical Service Act that allows only blind people to be eligible for an official license as massage therapists, officials said Thursday.
A group of sighted massage parlor owners filed the petition claiming the law infringes upon their right to choose jobs. The law stipulates up to three years in prison or 30 million won (US$25,300) in fines for those practicing massage therapy for profit without a license.
But the Constitutional Court rejected the petition, saying that even though the law restricts people’s freedom to choose an occupation to a certain extent, the right to life of visually impaired people is more important.
“Massage therapy is one of the very few professions the blind can properly have,” the court said, noting that massage therapist jobs are crucial in helping blind people make a living.
But people who are not disabled have a broader range of job choices, including those similar to massage therapists, such as physical therapists, as they have more education opportunities, the court added.
This marks the fourth time the Constitutional Court found the medical law restricting the nonvisually impaired from becoming masseuses constitutional, following rulings in July 2010, June 2013 and January 2018.