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Deadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life itself--and the Consequences for Your Health and Our Medical Futureby Harriet A. Washington
Synopses & Reviews
From the award-winning author of "Medical Apartheid," an expose of the rush to own and exploit the raw materials of life--including yours.
Think your body is your own to control and dispose of as you wish? Think again. The U.S. Patent Office has either granted patents, or has them pending, on more than 500,000 genes or DNA sequences controlling the most basic processes of human life. If you undergo surgery in many hospitals you must sign away ownership rights to your excised tissues, even if they turn out to have medical and fiscal value. Life itself is rapidly becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of the medical- industrial complex.
"Deadly Monopolies" is a powerful, disturbing, and deeply researched book that illuminates this "life patent" gold rush and its harmful, and even lethal, consequences for public health. It examines the shaky legal, ethical, and social bases for Big Pharma's argument that such patents are necessary to protect their investments in new drugs and treatments, arguing that they instead stifle the research, competition, and innovation that can drive down costs and save lives. In opposing the commodification of the body, Harriet Washington provides a crucial human dimension to an often all-too-abstract debate.
Like the bestseller "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," "Deadly Monopolies" reveals in shocking detail just how far the profit motive has encroached in colonizing human life and compromising medical ethics. It is sure to stir debate--and instigate change.
"From the Hardcover edition."
About the Author
Harriet A. Washington is the author of Medical Apartheid, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award, the 2007 PEN Oakland Award, and the 2007 American Library Association Black Caucus Nonfiction Award. She has been a fellow in medical ethics at the Harvard Medical School, a senior research scholar at the National Center for Bioethics at Tuskegee University, a fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, and the recipient of a John S. Knight Fellowship at Stanford University.
From the Hardcover edition.
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