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Who Owns Life? - Chemistry Essay

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Sean Grayson

Chemistry Essay

I went to a lecture that was called " Who Owns Life?" The person who spoke at this lecture was David Magnus, Ph.D. He is the Assistant Professor and Graduate Studies Director at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. I learned things that and did not know about my DNA and my body.

The questions were raised, " Do we own our bodies?" and " Who plays God in the 21st Century?" What I found out was our DNA in our bodies we do not actually own. Dr. Magnus posed the question to us, " How many people in this room have their DNA on file somewhere in the United States?" Only one person raised their hand and said that they have their DNA on file. Everyone else just sat there. We were very surprised when we found out that all of our DNA's are on file somewhere in the United States.

The other question of " Who plays God in the 21st Century" was answered. The doctors and unfortunately the government are in control. Dr. Magnus told a story about a guy who went to get something checked out in his body and they took different things out of his body and kept asking him to come back for more testing. He kept going back even after he was feeling well. What he found out was the doctors were taking things out of his body that were worth an exurbanite amount of money and were able to open up in California a Biotechnology Company. The man sued saying that what was in his body was his. The Supreme Court eventually ruled that what was taken out of his body was not his but the Companies. This happens all the time but the problem is that many paten suits are never drawn-up because the price is around 10 million dollars.

Dr. Magnus also talked about peoples DNA. He brought up the example of the Canesco brothers. Jose Canesco as you know was a great baseball player. His twin brother Ozzie since he was his twin was thought to have the same skills as Jose. In actuality he did not. Just because they are twins does not mean they have the same DNA. That was another thing he brought up.

That is what I learned at this lecture. I had no idea that there was my DNA on file somewhere in the US. I also did not know that I might have valuable things in my body that could help someone else with there business. I will be more careful with what happens

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