Golde Splenectomy Case Study

644 Words3 Pages
This was a landmark case tried in the Supreme Court of California in 1990 that established the legal status of ownership of (discarded) human cells, tissues and organs. The case was filed by John Moore on the basis that he was denied a share of the profits arising from the commercialization of cell lines derived from his organs and tissues.
Moore in 1976 was diagnosed with hairy cell leukemia and was treated for the same in the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Centre by Dr. David W. Golde and his team. In October 1976, Golde recommended removal of the spleen (splenectomy) in order to slow down the progress of Moore’s disease. Prior to the operation, Golde obtained from Moore a signed written form consenting to the splenectomy and the disposal of any severed tissue or member by cremation. It appears however that Golde was aware of the financial benefit that could be derived from the tissues and body fluids from
…show more content…
On each visit, samples of blood, serum, bone marrow, skin and sperm were collected. In 1983 however Moore was asked to sign a form that granted the UCLA rights that either he or his heirs might have to any cell line or potential products derived from blood or bone marrow derived from him. Moore did not sign this form and instead consulted an attorney. From further investigation it emerged that Golde and his co-workers had been doing research on Moore’s cancer and had established a cell line from Moore’s T-lymphocytes sometime in 1979 which could be exploited commercially. Golde had withheld this information from Moore and requisitioned the consent as part of the process of applying for a patent in 1983. On March 20, 1984, U.S. Patent 4438032, was issued for the cell line. The patent named Golde and co-worker Shirley G.Quan as inventors and the Regents of the University of California as the assignee. Meanwhile, Golde had, with the help of the Regents, entered into an agreement
Open Document