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Decoding the Bundle of Sticks: Genetic Property Rights, Research & Regulation

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abstract
Our genes hold a potential key to unlocking a healthier life through the elimination of disease. Despite knowing the DNA sequences that comprise the human genome, further research must be performed to determine exactly how this information can be used to obtain improved health outcomes. As new genetic knowledge is learned, it can benefit an individual by providing the opportunity to treat or prevent a disease. Alternatively, the very same information can become harmful if used for discriminatory or commercially exploitative purposes--worries that have led many to avoid participation in genetic research. Current federal legislation that focuses mostly on blocking rather than controlling access, and case law that looks to retrospectively grant remedies, proves to be inadequate to calm these fears. As such, a new form of protection, genetic property rights, has emerged in state legislatures to aid in fostering trust and confidence between the individual and the scientific community. This thesis argues that to prevent genetic discrimination and commercial exploitation, property rights in genetic material and information should be endowed to the individual. However, law should not mandate payment of fair market value because that could produce a "tragedy of the anticommons" and chill scientific innovation.
subject
Bioethics
Genetics
Legislation
Property Rights
Regulation
Research
contributor
Grippaldi, Michael (author)
Hall, Mark A. (committee chair)
King, Nancy M.P. (committee member)
Rose, Simone A. (committee member)
date
2012-09-05T08:35:23Z (accessioned)
2012 (issued)
degree
Bioethics (discipline)
10000-01-01 (liftdate)
embargo
forever (terms)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/37448 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
Decoding the Bundle of Sticks: Genetic Property Rights, Research & Regulation
type
Thesis

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