07 June 2013

I don't have long to live. Take Back Your Genes. 4JUN13

I would like to hear how these companies would justify their patents to God....Please participate in this call to action from the ACLU calling on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to ban gene patents, click the link.....

ACLU Action
Below is an email from Kathleen Maxian, who's been fighting a battle against ovarian cancer and has a powerful story to share about gene patents.

Click here to sign the petition
Tell the USPTO to stop patenting our genes.

Being diagnosed with advanced-stage ovarian cancer was devastating-the doctors say I have, at most, five years left on earth. It didn't have to be this way. 

After my sister's breast cancer diagnosis a few years ago, she had genetic tests done that could have warned both of us about the risks we faced.

But thanks to Myriad Genetics' patents on two important genes, my sister didn't have access to the more accurate tests we needed.

Angelina Jolie's recent decision to have a double mastectomy because of her cancer risk stirred up a lot of controversy, but the point is she had a choice-one that I didn't.

It's crazy for anyone to claim the right to patent our genes for their exclusive profit. Even scarier is that it's prevented people like me from finding out how high-risk we really are.

Thanks to a challenge brought by the ACLU, the Supreme Court might strike down Myriad Genetics' patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Even if it declares these particular patents invalid, it might not apply to other gene patents.

That's why we have to pressure the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) right now to stop issuing any new patents on our genes, before more harm is done.

Tell the United States Patent and Trademark Office to stop issuing any new gene patents now. 

I learned too late that women with certain genetic mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, like me, have up to an 85 percent lifetime risk for breast cancer and 50 percent risk for ovarian cancer. That's why these tests are so important.

And when Myriad Genetics started enforcing their patents, it meant cracking down on labs offering critical genetic screenings and those conducting the kind of research that would benefit patients like me.

Genes are products of nature-the building blocks of life that help make us who we are. They should not be monopolized. It's like patenting gold or the air or the human heart. And limiting our access to research or testing of genes may have dangerous consequences for our health. 

In fact, most of the federal government agrees with that, while the USPTO is one of the only agencies that thinks differently. But it has the power to make a difference, which is why I need your help in changing its stance.

Demand that the United States Patent and Trademark Office issue a moratorium on any new gene patents.

I feel like cancer has taken over my life and I live in fear every single day. I would love for Myriad Genetics to say "This is bigger than us. Let's get rid of the patent. Let's let other people get involved in this." But if they never do, we must stand together to support the women we love in the fight of their lives. 

Thanks for being there,
Kathleen Maxian