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Immortal Cells; Moral Issues

Today’s Baltimore Sun features a great OpEd by Ruth Faden, director of the bioethics institute at Johns Hopkins, exploring the ethical and moral issues raised by The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and its relevance to the current debate over health care reform.  In it she says, among other things:

A quick post as I run out the door for the teeveey studio: Set your TiVos and your DVRs, mark your calendars: Tonight I’ll be on ABC World News talking about my new book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.  The segment will also feature members of Henrietta’s family, and Vincent Racaniello with lots, and…

After ten long years, the serious countdown has begun for the publication of my book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which will be on sale nationwide exactly SEVEN DAYS from today.  I’ve been posting about my impending book tour, and all the great coverage the book has been getting, on Twitter and Facebook, but…

Calling all academics: If you’d like a free advanced copy of my book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, get thee to Random House’s academic blog and request a copy quick, while supplies last (which probably won’t be long at the rate things are going). See below for more information on the book, and advanced…

Some interesting news about the breast cancer patent lawsuit I wrote about for Slate’s Double X Magazine a few months ago:  A federal district court has just agreed to hear the case. When the lawsuit was first filed, many legal experts I talked to said they were sure the case would get thrown out of…

Speaking of the debate over patents interfering with medical care, there’s a story in today’s New York Times that mentions the drug Iplex, which has shown promise for treating Lou Gehrig’s disease – a deadly and thus far untreatable degenerative disease (also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).  From the article:

Earlier this week, the American Civil Liberties Union and several other groups filed suit against Myriad Genetics — the company that holds the patent on the breast cancer gene.  They’re hoping to get the breast cancer gene patent revoked, but more than that, they’re aiming to stop gene patenting all together.  Today, in my new…