Published in Cancer Detection and Prevention 1993; 17(2):313-315.

Biotechnological Patents and Ethical Aspects

R. Ciliberti, PhD

Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro, Genova, Italy

ABSTRACT: Developments in the biotechnological fields have stimulated public research institutes to adopt a more enterprising policy that encourages the use of the patent and the commercialization of research results and products. The National Institute for Cancer Research of Genoa (1ST) has dealt with a number of the principles and ethically related matters that arise from the acceptance of the patent system and policy. The problem of the patent in the biotechnological fields is particularly complicated given the subject-living matter and the social alarm that it provokes in the general public. Careful consideration of ethical aspects demands the further evaluation of whether or not the patent is an adequate tool for reeulatine these matters.