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John Moore was diagnosed with hairy-cell leukemia in 1976 Under directions from his doctor Mr Moores spleen was removed Among other things Mr Moore continued to visit his doctor for seven years following his diagnosis During these visits the doctor took tissue samples of bone marrow skin a and sperm which Mr Moore assumed were necessary procedures to prevent the reoccurrence of cancer After discovering that he had become patent 4438032 John Moore learned that the doctor was patenting unique chemicals from Mr Moores blood for a multi-million dollar contract Moore sued the doctor for malpractice and property theft The California Supreme court refused to recognize that Moore had property rights over his own body however The doctor argued that because Mr Moore did not possess the ability to manipulate his own body tissues into a socially useful product he could not claim a right of ownership to these tissues One concession the court did make to Mr Moore was the right to sue his doctor for a breach of fiduciary duty and lack of informed consent This issue and others are on the forefront of a growing debate over the patenting of life Should we like John Moore tried to do in the above example be able to protect own our own bodies from being patented and thus owned by others Where should we as a society draw the line when it comes to weighing the possible advances possible versus the dangerous applications this new science may render What are our ethical and moral responsibilities when it comes to the inevitable ability to clone a human design a baby or just predict whether someone is predisposed at coming down with a fatal disease This is such a
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