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Binghamton Journal of Philosophy

Volume 1, Issue 1, 2013

Adam T. Goodstone
Pages 67-86

A Consequentialist Examination of the Circumvention of the Public Will in U.S. Genetic and Biotechnology Law

The introduction of biotechnology and genetic patents into law in the United States and the European Union has taken two startlingly different approaches. In the United States, it was the judicial system that granted these patents legitimacy. In Europe, the patenting of organic material became a continent wide discussion; with individuals having very strong opinions on how ethical these patents were, as well as questioning their legality. Unlike the United States, genetic and biotechnological patents were granted legitimacy in Europe through democratic institutions and free dialogue. This paper argues it is this inclusion and fostering of the public’s will that was so missing in America that will not only lead to dangerous patents, but more importantly, sets a very dangerous example for the abandonment of democratic ideologies and institutions.