Should Human Genes Be Patented?

The ethics of gene patenting is concerned with whether human genes are the kind of thing that is appropriate for patenting, and whether it is ethical to do so. Is genetic technology a special case compared to other medical technology that have been patented? Much of the debate has revolved around the benefits and harms of allowing gene sequences to be patented. In this paper, I am concerned with a non-consequential consideration: Can someone patent my genes? If genes are the common property of humankind, are genes patentable? I present an objection to the patenting of processes used to manipulate our genes that have the potential to change human nature. Should not all members of the human species have a say regarding genetic engineering that can be used to irreversibly change what makes each one a human? I conclude with an examination of how genetic research may be democratically controlled.
Keywords Gene patents  Property rights
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/pcw200512219
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,848
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
The Morality of Human Gene Patents.David B. Resnik - 1997 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 7 (1):43-61.
Property Rights in Genetic Information.Richard A. Spinello - 2004 - Ethics and Information Technology 6 (1):29-42.
The Nature and Significance of Behavioural Genetic Information.Ainsley Newson - 2004 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 25 (2):89-111.
Development Aid: On Ontogeny and Ethics.T. Lewens - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 33 (2):195-217.
Patenting Genes.Andrew Askland - 2003 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 17 (2):267-275.
Confused Meanings of Life, Genes and Parents.M. L. - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 32 (4):647-661.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
28 ( #199,996 of 2,210,428 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
11 ( #32,847 of 2,210,428 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature