Deadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life Itself-and the Consequences for Your Health and Our Medical Future

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Anchor Books, Oct 15, 2012 - Medical - 433 pages
2 Reviews
From the award-winning author of Medical Apartheid, an expos 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 United States Patent Office has granted at least 40,000 patents on genes controlling the most basic processes of human life, and more are pending. 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 patento 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.
 

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User Review  - HadriantheBlind - LibraryThing

This is a very worrying look at the marriage between big business and medical research, and the effects - some good, some bad - that they are having on the fields of public health and medicine. On the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wealhtheowwylfing - LibraryThing

Too many minor factual errors made me wary of taking this book at face value, and I gave up on it. It's a great subject, though! Read full review

Contents

PATENTS PROFITS AND THE HIGH COST OF LIVING
1
A NEW LEASE ON LIFE
15
THE HIGH COST OF LIVING
53
HITTING THE BRAKES
94
POISON PILLS
128
GENE PATENTS
180
LIQUID ASSETS LETHAL RISKS
206
A TRAFFIC IN TISSUES
234
THE LABORATORY OF THE WEST
300
BACK TO THE FUTURE?
326
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
347
NOTES
351
BIBLIOGRAPHY
391
PERMISSIONS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
409
INDEX
412
Copyright

BIOCOLONIALISM
265

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About the author (2012)

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.

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