Giuliani Faces "Firestorm" Over Suggestion of Kerik As DHS, Stuff About 9/11 | Main | Michael Jackson Wants 50-Foot Robot of Himself That Shoots Laser Beams From His Eyes
March 30, 2007

Weird Science

Since I swiped so much of Crichton's speeches, I'll throw in a link to a book he published late last year, Next. It's all about the brave new world of the commercialization of our very biology.

In a Charlie Rose interview (this and other interviews found here, either video or transcript form) he discusses how someone now owns the disease Hepatatis C. Owns it. They analyzed the genetic structure and then applied for a patent on the disease-- and got it. So now they own it, and if you want to do research on it, well, you have to license the disease from the patent-holder.

Now that's weird but he chalks that up to a mistake, a goofy ruling from the patent office, and one that will almost certainly be legislatively corrected (if it hasn't been already).

But this is very, very weird. How can this be legal?

MICHAEL CRICHTON: This is an old story, this is like the first story.

1980, a guy named John Moore; he is a construction worker on the Alaska pipeline. Gets sick. Big physical guy. Starts to lose weight, doesn`t feel good at all. Goes to his doctor, who is from the Seattle area. The doctor says you have a very rare form of leukemia, and the only place for you to get treated is UCLA.

He goes down to UCLA, sees the expert there. The guy says, yes, we`ll treat you. It`s - it`s an almost uniformly fatal illness. Has his spleen removed, has other treatments. Has chemotherapy, radiation. Survives.

A year later, he`s going back for testing. Everything is fine.

Everything is fine. One day, his doctor calls him up and says we need you to come back for further testing. Doesn`t say why. Doesn`t say - just, you know, something doesn`t quite look right. So, now he`s going back more
and more often. And this goes on for a period of years.

He`s concerned -- no one actually tells him that he`s still sick, but he`s worried about it. And each time he goes back, they take more tissue and more biopsies, and he has a few more forms to sign. A few more consents, a few more releases.

Finally, they`re getting pretty thick. Eventually, you know, he says to his doctor, you know, it`s difficult for me to come from Seattle. Can`t I do these tests up here? No, you have to come down here. Finally he says, "Are you doing some commercial thing with these tissues?" The doctor says absolutely not.

The guy turns around and discovers that UCLA has made a cell line of his cells, which have the characteristic of producing a very large quantity of anti-cancer agents.

It's quite true:

His physician, Dr. Golde, quickly realized the medical and commercial potential of Mr. Moore's cells. Repeated withdraw of "blood, blood serum, skin, bone marrow aspirate, and sperm" was performed on Mr. Moore. With his doctor's advice, part of his spleen was also removed.

In 1984, his doctor patented his cell line without Moore's permission. This patent was then sold to Sandoz Laboratories stocks currently worth about 5 million dollars.

Moore did challenge his doctor's appropriation of his cell line, and the California Court of Appeal noted the irony in the fact that Mr. Moore could not own his own tissue, and that the University of California and the biotech companies saw nothing wrong with having the exclusive control of Moore's spleen.

The Supreme Court of California, however, ruled that the doctor was at fault for failing to inform Moore and getting false consent from him. However, the court denied Moore on the issue of conversion, where Moore claimed the UC and the doctor benefited from his property. The court noted that it was detrimental to research if property status was granted to cells and body parts of the patients. The court also awarded Moore a small amount of money.

Here's the patent.

Well, the only part that doesn't seem proven is the bit about the repeated extraction of tissue after he'd been cured, solely for the purpose of mining his body for valuable cells. But definitely this was all going on without informing him.


digg this
posted by Ace at 04:18 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Deplorable Male Logic: "The movie that made the Green Berets famous was ab ..."

JackStraw: ">>Usually I'd agree, Jack. >>But she doesn't e ..."

Chattanooga Boo-Boo : "Why would that congresswoman lie? What possible mo ..."

Weasel: "204 Weasel, I could have taken you to a goat ropin ..."

ScoggDog: "[i]Scogg, honest question for you--are you anti mi ..."

Duke Lowell : "Oh for fucks sake, can we lay off the widow, pleas ..."

IllTemperedCur: " 200 195 ITC- all will be well because I would ne ..."

Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars (TM) [/b][/i][/s][/u]: " [i]Rodeo Clown Voices Disdain for Her Place of R ..."

Salon's Hot Top 25 : "Andy, I believe that's the same one ace link in th ..."

Mr. Peebles: "Crazier shit the Left believes: -I'm a girl tod ..."

Tami[/i][/b][/s][/u]: "141 A past Gold Star widow, Natasha De Alencar, re ..."

Ben Had: "Weasel, I could have taken you to a goat roping th ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64