A Seoul court ruled Wednesday that a patient suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was unfit to serve in the military, marking the first case in which it was a major disqualifier for the mandatory military service.
The Seoul Administrative Court ruled in favor of a man surnamed Kim, an ADHD patient who filed a suit against the country’s military administration to cancel his enlistment.
The case sets a new precedent in confirming ADHD patients to be exempt from serving in the armed forces for two years, which is required for all South Korean men aged 18 and above.
“Kim repeatedly quit and went back to school in the past, illustrating that he cannot adapt well to his environment and doesn’t have good interpersonal skills. It would not be fair to put him on active service, as he was already diagnosed with ADHD,” the court said in its ruling.
According to the court, Kim suffered from the mental disease since elementary school and was diagnosed with ADHD and bipolar disorder after graduating from high school.
He was given “grade 3” in a medical check-up in 2012, meaning that he was physically capable of serving in the armed forces.
The Military Manpower Administration sent him a notice to enter the army training center by December.
The army administration claimed that in order to be exempt from enlistment Kim neither made any efforts to cure his illness nor took medicine.
The court, however, said there is not enough data suggesting that his condition could be improved enough through medical treatment for him to serve in the military.
By Suk Gee-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)