Vidas versus lucros

NOVA IORQUE – O Supremo Tribunal dos Estados Unidos iniciou recentemente as deliberações num caso que dá destaque a uma questão profundamente problemática, relativa aos direitos de propriedade intelectual. O Tribunal deve responder à seguinte pergunta: Podem os genes humanos - os seus genes - ser patenteados? Por outras palavras, deveria alguém ter essencialmente permissão para possuir o direito de, digamos, testar se você tem um conjunto de genes que implica uma probabilidade superior a 50% de desenvolver cancro da mama?

Para aqueles que não fazem parte do mundo misterioso dos direitos de propriedade intelectual, a resposta parece óbvia: Não. Você é o proprietário dos seus genes. Uma empresa pode possuir, no máximo, a propriedade intelectual subjacente ao seu teste genético e, uma vez que a investigação e o desenvolvimento necessários para desenvolver o teste podem ter custado um montante considerável, a empresa pode cobrar devidamente para administrá-lo.

Mas uma empresa sediada no Utah, Myriad Genetics, reivindica mais do que isso. Reivindica possuir os direitos de qualquer teste para detectar a presença de dois genes críticos associados ao cancro da mama - e tem executado impiedosamente esse direito, embora o seu teste seja inferior ao que a Universidade Yale estava disposta a fornecer a um custo muito menor. As consequências têm sido trágicas: A realização de testes minuciosos, a preços acessíveis, que identificam pacientes de alto risco, salva vidas. Bloquear tal realização de testes custa vidas. A Myriad é um verdadeiro exemplo de uma empresa norte-americana para a qual os lucros superam todos os outros valores, incluindo o valor da própria vida humana.

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