[ExI] (The Independent 2013-08) Plumpy'Nut: The lifesaver that costs... well, peanuts

Ben Zaiboc bbenzai at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 21 12:45:00 UTC 2013

> From: Adrian Tymes <atymes at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sep 18, 2013 12:51 PM, "Mike Dougherty" <msd001 at gmail.com> 
> wrote:
>>  On Wed, Sep 18, 2013 at 9:57 AM, Ben Zaiboc <bbenzai at yahoo.com> 
> wrote:
>>>  There's no getting round the fact that if you hold a patent on a
> life-saving technology, and enforce that patent to prevent it being
> available for cheaper, people will die because of your decision.
>>  How about using the patent to block for-profit business but not waiving
> that option when non-profit and humanitarian/aid providers distribute the
> product ?   Is that immoral?
> Some for profit companies save lives while profiting.

Of course, and I'm /definitely not/ saying that nobody should make a profit from saving lives.  That should be obvious.  What I'm saying is that it's immoral to make a profit /at the cost of lives/.  Mike's example is focusing on the wrong thing.  The point is not whether you make a profit, but whether you're killing people by withholding a service or product, or by preventing others from providing it.  I won't insult anyone's intelligence by going into the "so why don't you forego the profit and provide it for free?" pseudo-argument.  Although I suppose someone is bound to raise the idea that if a company is allowed to exclusively profit, they could potentially then save more lives all on their own.  Theoretically possible, but I seriously doubt it would pan out in real life.

Ben Zaiboc

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