ACLU Releases Video Showing How Restrictive Gene Patents Hurt Women
NEW YORK, May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Breast cancer survivor Genae Girard underwent genetic testing to determine whether she's also at risk for ovarian cancer and should have her ovaries removed. But the test didn't come with a second opinion -- a problem for any woman facing a decision that will impact her ability to have children. That's because only one company holds the patents on the genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer and no one else can offer this kind of testing without its permission.
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Lisbeth Ceriani, a single mom, simply can't afford the more than $3,000 test. Getting the test paid for by insurance can be difficult.
"I'd like to see my 8-year-old daughter go to college," Ceriani says. "But if I have the mutation, there's a huge chance I'll end up with ovarian cancer in the immediate future. I need to have that test so I can get my ovaries out if I need to before anything happens. I don't like those odds."
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Tuesday charging that human genes by law cannot be patented and that such patents violate the First Amendment. The gene patents impede clinical testing and research. An ACLU-produced video released today lays out the case by telling the stories of researchers, clinicians and individual women negatively affected by the patents. The ACLU has launched the video, "Liberate the Breast Cancer Genes," on its Web site and YouTube channel to help people understand how this lawsuit directly touches people's lives. The stories of Girard and Ceriani, who are plaintiffs in the case, are featured in the video.
"How can it be that a company controls genes? How is that poss
|SOURCE American Civil Liberties Union|
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