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Hastings Cent Rep. 1990 Nov-Dec;20(6):36-9.

Outrageous fortune: selling other people's cells.

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Law, Medicine and Ethics Program, Boston University School of Medicine.



In 1984, physician David Golde and others at the University of California patented a cell line developed from cells removed from John Moore, a patient of Golde's. Moore alleged that he had not consented to this use of his cells. He filed suit against Golde for breaching a physician's fiduciary duty to a patient, and against those profiting from the cell line for a share of the profits. On appeal, the California Supreme Court supported Moore's duty claim against Golde, but refused to grant him ownership interest in his cells after they had been removed from his body. Annas reviews the five-to-two decision, arguing against the majority's reasons for rejecting Moore's claim against all the defendents except Golde, and concurring with the opinions of the two dissenting justices. Annas foresees a legislative solution to the questions raised by commerce in human organs, tissues, and cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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