Argumentative Essay On Human Genes

Good Essays
The human body has 20,000-25,000 individual genes and the question has arisen of who owns those genes. While having a patent for part of the human genome is different than owning those genes, it has some of the same implications. Thus, the question arises should human genes be patented, and what are the various implications of patenting genes and DNA? Finding a solution to whether the human genome should be patented can be difficult because it requires balancing moral, social, technological, academic, and economic concerns. Even more than that, these concerns need to be addressed in several areas such as naturally occurring DNA, non-natural or lab-synthesized DNA, as well as treatments based on the patients’ genetics. While the patenting of…show more content…
The patent allowed Myriad complete control on researching and profiting from these genes. After several years of research, Myriad created a monopoly on conducting diagnostic testing for these genes. Myriad began to charge exorbitant fees for the diagnostic tests and prevented any other clinicians from preforming the testing. This resulted in the Association for Molecular Pathology as well as several other organizations bringing Myriad to court in May 2009 on the premise that patents should not be given on human genes as they are “products of nature, common to mankind and should not be the products of commerce” (Chakrabarty 2015). Eventually the case was brought before the Supreme Court where a unanimous decision was reached that human genes cannot be patented. The report from the Supreme Court states, “Myriad’s DNA claim falls within the law of nature exception… Myriad did not create or alter either the genetic information encoded in the BCRA1 and BCRA2 genes or the genetic structure of the DNA” (Association 2013). The case against Myriad has become a precedent, and the arguments brought up during the case provide a standard for whether other genes can be
Get Access