The Ethical Implications of Gene Patenting

“The Ethical Implications of Gene Patenting” Empowered Doctor.

Do genes qualify as a property that a single individual or corporation is allowed exclusive rights to? On April 15, 2013 the Supreme Court will hear a case that could dictate the future of biomedicine. Currently, Myriad Genetics Corporation, a biotechnology company in Utah, has patented two human genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2. These genes are known to elevate a woman’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer. This patent allows Myriad Genetics to block all others from using these genes for the purposes of breast cancer diagnostics, research and treatment.

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