Leben oder Profit

NEW YORK – Der Oberste Gerichtshof der USA hat vor kurzem seine Beratungen in einem Fall aufgenommen, der ein Schlaglicht auf einen zutiefst problematischen Sachverhalt in Bezug auf die Rechte an geistigem Eigentum wirft. Das Gericht muss folgende Frage beantworten: Sind menschliche Gene – Ihre Gene – patentierbar? Anders ausgedrückt: Sollte jemand anders das grundsätzliche Eigentumsrecht an einem Test auf eine Gensequenz haben, die bedeutet, dass Sie mit mehr als 50%iger Wahrscheinlichkeit an Brustkrebs erkranken werden?

Für jene außerhalb der obskuren Welt des Rechts vom geistigen Eigentum scheint die Antwort offensichtlich: Nein. Ihre Gene gehören Ihnen. Ein Unternehmen mag, allerhöchstens, das geistige Eigentum an seinem genetischen Test innehaben; und weil die zur Entwicklung dieses Tests durchgeführten Forschungs- und Entwicklungsmaßnahmen ggf. eine Menge Geld gekostet haben, darf das Unternehmen möglicherweise zu Recht eine Gebühr für die Durchführung des Tests erheben.

Doch ein Unternehmen mit Sitz im US-Staat Utah, Myriad Genetics, beansprucht mehr als das. Es macht Rechte an allen Tests auf Ermittlung der beiden entscheidenden mit Brustkrebs verbundenen Gene geltend – und hat diese Rechte rücksichtslos durchgesetzt, obwohl sein Test qualitativ schlechter ist als einer, den die Universität Yale zu einem viel niedrigeren Preis anzubieten bereit war. Die Folgen sind tragisch: Gründliche, bezahlbare Untersuchungen, die Hoch-Risiko-Patienten ermitteln, retten Leben. Myriad ist ein typisches Beispiel für ein amerikanisches Unternehmen, das Profit über alles andere stellt, auch über das Recht der Menschen auf Leben selbst.

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