British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Body Corporate

Synopsis
Across the globe there is a major legal and scientific battle raging over whether we should allow individuals and corporations to patent genes. Some biotech companies say yes, claiming patents reward medical research and promote the investigation of life saving treatments. But should a company be able to charge whatever it likes to confirm a patient has a serious health condition, simply because it holds patent rights to a particular gene. In the United States, health activists took the company that held patent rights over a gene linked to breast cancer to court. The activists argued it was illegal to hold patents on naturally occurring mutant breast cancer genes. The judge agreed, and now the issue is set to be tested at the very top of the American legal system. In Australia, a similar court battle is looming.

Reporter Andrew Fowler travels to the United States and around Australia to hear from both sides in this high-stakes battle. He talks to the researchers, patent lawyers and families who have been forced to pay significant amounts of money to find out if they have genes linked to potentially life-threatening conditions. (43 minutes)

NB In addition to the broadcast programme, additional interviews are on the website, together with transcript of the programme and further reading.
Series
Four Corners, Series
Language
English
Country
Australia
Year of release
2010
Year of production
2010
Subjects
Medical sciences
Keywords
drugs; genetic disorders; genetic engineering; patents; pharmaceutical industry

Online availability

URI
http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2010/s3000623.htm
Price
free
Delivery
Streamed

Credits

Contributor
Andrew Fowler

Distribution Formats

Type
DVD
Format
Region 1 NTSC
Price
$295.00
Availability
Sale
Duration/Size
45 minutes
Year
2012

Sponsor

Name

ABC Australia

Distributor

Name

Filmakers Library

Email
info@filmakers.com
Web
http://www.filmakers.com/ External site opens in new window
Phone
+1 212 808 4980
Fax
+1 212 808 4983
Address
124 East 40th Street
New York
NY 10016
USA
Notes
A well-established distributor of issue-oriented documentaries on social science and arts-related topics, made by American independents as well as filmmakers from all over the world. Sale on video or DVD.

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