Moore repeatedly alleges that Golde failed to disclose the extent of his research and economic interests in Moore's cells before obtaining consent to the medical procedures by which the cells were extracted. . If these allegations are true, defendants clearly improperly interfered with plaintiff's right in his body part at a time when he had the authority to determine the future use of such part, thereby misappropriating plaintiff's right of control for their own advantage. The defendants made a significant amount of money from the cell line. Moore v. Regents of University of California: Attorney: [7] Gage, Mazursky, Schwartz, Angelo & Kussman, Sanford M. Gage, Christopher E. Angelo and Jonathan T. Zackey for Plaintiff and Appellant. Moore filed a thirteen-count lawsuit. At this time all defendants, including Golde, were aware that "certain blood products and blood components were of great value in a number of commercial and scientific efforts" and that access to a patient whose blood contained these substances would provide "competitive, commercial, and scientific advantages.". Golde established a patented cell line, which he licensed for commercial development. Finally, the subject matter of the Regents' patent -- the patented cell line and the products derived from it -- cannot be Moore's property. Filed on July 9, 1990, it dealt with the issue of property rights to one's own cells taken in samples by doctors or researchers. The procedural disposition (e.g. Lacking direct authority for importing the law of conversion into this context, Moore relies, as did the Court of Appeal, primarily on decisions addressing privacy rights. ( Yuba River Power Co. v. Nevada Irr. Before the operation, Golde and Quan "formed the intent and made arrangements to obtain portions of [Moore's] spleen following its removal" and to take them to a separate research unit. Moore v. The Regents of University of California Supreme Ct of CA- 1990 Facts. The majority opinion, of course, is not oblivious to the significance of these unusual allegations. Lymphokines, unlike a name or a face, have the same molecular structure in every human being and the same, important functions in every human being's immune system. "To establish a conversion, plaintiff must establish an actual interference with his ownership or right of possession. Another is our prohibition against indirect abuse of the body by its economic exploitation for the sole benefit of another person. Surgeons at UCLA Medical Center, whom the complaint does not name as defendants, removed Moore's spleen on October 20, 1976. 3 Moore v. Regents, U. California, 249 Cal. (35 U.S.C. The majority then offer a dual explanation: "This is because the patented cell line is both factually and legally distinct from the cells taken from Moore's body." . .) Moore first visited UCLA Medical Center on October 5, 1976, shortly after he learned that he had hairy-cell leukemia. First, our society acknowledges a profound ethical imperative to respect the human body as the physical and temporal expression of the unique human persona. If, as alleged in this case, plaintiff's doctor improperly interfered with plaintiff's right to control the use of a body part by wrongfully withholding material information from him before its removal, under traditional common law principles plaintiff may maintain a conversion action to recover the economic value of the right to control the use of his body part. Moore v. Regents of the University of California. The plaintiff is John Moore (Moore), who underwent treatment for hairy-cell leukemia at the Medical Center of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA Medical Center). The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. While he may be a silent partner, his contribution to the venture is absolutely crucial: as pointed out above, but for the cells of Moore's body taken by defendants there would have been no Mo cell line at all. But the majority's rejection of plaintiff's conversion cause of action does not mean that body parts may not be bought or sold for research or commercial purposes or that no private individual or entity may benefit economically from the fortuitous value of plaintiff's diseased cells. There is, however, a third party to the biotechnology enterprise -- the patient who is the source of the blood or tissue from which all these profits are derived. After they removed his spleen doctors (Defendants) found out his cells were unique and had a great commercial value. Wests Calif Report. Moe, E. Dean, and M. Nazaire. . On each of these visits Golde withdrew additional samples of "blood, blood serum, skin, bone marrow aspirate, and sperm." The majority view is not unmindful of the seeming injustice in a result that denies plaintiff a claim for conversion of his body tissue, yet permits defendants to retain the fruits thereof. . The superior court sustained all defendants' demurrers to the third amended complaint, and the Court o… This is particularly true when, as here, the parties are not in equal bargaining positions. Under an agreement with Genetics Institute, Golde "became a paid consultant" and "acquired the rights to 75,000 shares of common stock." While we do not purport to hold that excised cells can never be property for any purpose whatsoever, the novelty of Moore's claim demands express consideration of the policies to be served by extending liability . . But the same bundle of rights does not attach to all forms of property. However, as the defendants' patent makes clear -- and the complaint, too, if read with an understanding of the scientific terms which it has borrowed from the patent -- the goal and result of defendants' efforts has been to manufacture lymphokines. The operation could not be completed. . . By restricting how excised cells may be used and requiring their eventual destruction, the statute eliminates so many of the rights ordinarily attached to property that one cannot simply assume that what is left amounts to "property" or "ownership" for purposes of conversion law. "Since property or title is a complex bundle of rights, duties, powers and immunities, the pruning away of some or a great many of these elements does not entirely destroy the title . Jul 9, 1990.] The House Committee on Science and Technology of the United States Congress found that "49 percent of the researchers at medical institutions surveyed used human tissues or cells in their research." On each occasion Moore travelled to the UCLA Medical Center from his home in Seattle because he had been told that the procedures were to be performed only there and only under Golde's direction. 146; 793 P.2d 479. . His eloquent paean to the human spirit illuminates the problem, but not the solution. Moore sued the university for violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act and the California Family Rights Act. Moore also attempts to characterize the invasion of his rights as a conversion -- a tort that protects against interference with possessory and ownership interests in personal property. . . Sometime before August 1979, Golde established a cell line from Moore's T-lymphocytes. Justice Arabian's concurring opinion suggests that the majority's conclusion is informed by the precept that it is immoral to sell human body parts for profit. of Equal.) 1988 Jul 21;249:494-540. Here, however, plaintiff has alleged that defendants interfered with his legal rights before his body part was removed. 1991 / Moore v. Regents of University of California real commercial value.13 However, as demonstrated by the Moore case, new medical technologies have made some human cells extremely valuable. Because I conclude that plaintiff's complaint states a cause of action for conversion under traditional common law principles, I dissent from the majority opinion insofar as it rejects such a claim. . Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Lack of Informed Consent. . Jul 9, 1990.] . . . practice questions in 1L, 2L, & 3L subjects, as well as 16,500+ case Not only are the wrongful-publicity cases irrelevant to the issue of conversion, but the analogy to them seriously misconceives the nature of the genetic materials and research involved in this case. . In this context the court in Bouvia wrote that "'[e]very human being of adult years and sound mind has a right to determine what shall be done with his own body . Yet defendants deny that Moore is entitled to any share whatever in the proceeds of this cell line. If defendants had informed plaintiff, prior to removal, of the possible uses to which his body part could be put and plaintiff had authorized one particular use, it is clear under the foregoing authorities that defendants would be liable for conversion if they disregarded plaintiff's decision and used the body part in an unauthorized manner for their own economic benefit. Moore v. Regents of the University of California was a landmark Supreme Court of California decision. 575 N.E.2d 1086 (Mass. Moore admits in his complaint that "the true clinical potential of each of the lymphokines . One line of cases involves unwanted publicity. § 154.) . The application of these principles to the present case is evident. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. The next consideration that makes Moore's claim of ownership problematic is California statutory law, which drastically limits a patient's control over excised cells. Thus, Moore's allegations that he owns the cell line and the products derived from it are inconsistent with the patent, which constitutes an authoritative determination that the cell line is the product of invention. In this case, however, the complaint alleges that plaintiff's doctor recognized the peculiar research and commercial value of plaintiff's cells before their removal from plaintiff's body. "[T]hroughout this period, . The defendants moved for summary judgment, which was granted on the conversion count. It provides Educational Services Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools and has a good reputation for performing valuable services to all its customers. The first is protection of a competent patient's right to make autonomous medical decisions. . Dist.). JOHN MOORE, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA et al., Defendants and Repondents. I do not question that the cell line is primarily the product of defendants' inventive effort. [No. Relying on this language to support the proposition that a patient has a continuing right to control the use of excised cells, the Court of Appeal in this case concluded that "[a] patient must have the ultimate power to control what becomes of his or her tissues. You can try any plan risk-free for 7 days. [by exploiting the cells] and [their] exclusive access to [the cells] by virtue of [Golde's] ongoing physician-patient relationship . [. Moore v. Regents of the University of California was a landmark Supreme Court of California decision. He did so at Golde's direction and based upon representations "that such visits were necessary and required for his health and well-being, and based upon the trust inherent in and by virtue of the physician-patient relationship . On June 4, 1982, Sandoz "was added to the agreement," and compensation payable to Golde and the Regents was increased by $ 110,000. He urges us to commingle the sacred with the profane. No. H.E. . We need not, however, make an arbitrary choice between liability and nonliability. But there are several reasons to doubt that he did retain any such interest. Our society values fundamental fairness in dealings between its members, and condemns the unjust enrichment of any member at the expense of another. Federal law permits the patenting of organisms that represent the product of "human ingenuity," but not naturally occurring organisms. A. Such an arrangement would not only avoid the moral and philosophical objections to a free market operation in body tissue, but would also address stated concerns by eliminating the inherently coercive effect of a waiver system and by compensating donors regardless of temporal circumstances. Introduction. . Consortium of California Herbaria (CCH). Courts cannot and should not seek to fashion a remedy for every "heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to." On January 30, 1981, the Regents applied for a patent on the cell line, listing Golde and Quan as inventors. To reach an appropriate balance of these policy considerations is extremely important. . The plaintiff is John Moore (Moore), who underwent treatment for hairy-cell leukemia at the Medical Center of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA Medical Center). However, neither Golde nor Quan informed Moore of their plans to conduct this research or requested his permission. Indeed, a legislative response creating a licensing scheme, which establishes a fixed rate of profit sharing between researcher and subject, has already been suggested. Moore v. Regents of the University of California. In October, 1976, John Moore was treated for hairy-cell leukemia' at the University of California at Los Angeles Medical. ." I write separately to give voice to a concern that I believe informs much of that opinion but finds little or no expression therein. The defendants made a significant amount of money from the cell line. No contracts or commitments. Moore v. Regents of the University of California Supreme Court of California, 1990 793 P.2d 479 .". rather than blind deference to a complaint alleging as a legal conclusion the existence of a cause of action. For these reasons, we hold that the allegations of Moore's third amended complaint state a cause of action for breach of fiduciary duty or lack of informed consent, but not conversion. Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings, or use a different web browser like Google Chrome or Safari. . These opinions hold that every person has a proprietary interest in his own likeness and that unauthorized, business use of a likeness is redressible as a tort. PDF. . Moore also sued for conversion. Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 4. Although in this case defendants did not disregard a specific directive from plaintiff with regard to the future use of his body part, the complaint alleges that, before the body part was removed, defendants intentionally withheld material information that they were under an obligation to disclose to plaintiff and that was necessary for his exercise of control over the body part; the complaint also alleges that defendants withheld such information in order to appropriate the control over the future use of such body part for their own economic benefit. As we have discussed, Moore's novel claim to own the biological materials at issue in this case is problematic, at best. (Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 4. ( Bouvia v. Superior Court . Third, the tort of conversion is not necessary to protect patients' rights. Plaintiff has asked us to recognize and enforce a right to sell one's own body tissue for profit. California. Plaintiff alleges that his physician failed to disclose preexisting research and economic interests in the cells before obtaining consent to the medical procedures by which they were extracted. Rather, he seeks to show that he is entitled, in fairness and equity, to some share in the profits that defendants have made and will make from their commercial exploitation of the Mo cell line. 2. The trial court dismissed the rest of the complaint. 1988) - note that the intermediate decision can be distinguished from the Supreme Court by the reporter in which it appears. . Of the relevant policy considerations, two are of overriding importance. . [8] Lori Andrews and Marjorie M. Schultz as Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiff and Appellant. Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it. Each court stated, following Prosser, that it was "pointless" to debate the proper characterization of the proprietary interest in a likeness. Many receive grants from the National Institute of Health for this work. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the university… . Instead, an examination of the relevant policy considerations suggests an appropriate balance: Liability based upon existing disclosure obligations, rather than an unprecedented extension of the conversion theory, protects patients' rights of privacy and autonomy without unnecessarily hindering research. Mr. Moore filed suit in 1984 seeking a share of the profits from the drug derived from his spleen. Moore v. Regents of the University of California: en: dc.provenance: Digital citation created by the Bioethics Research Library, Georgetown University, for the National Information Resource on Ethics and Human Genetics, a project funded by the United States National Human Genome Research Institute: en: … . Should Conversion Liability Be Extended? Sign In to view the Rule of Law and Holding. As we have explained, the reason for our holding is essentially twofold: First, plaintiff in this matter is not without a remedy; he remains free to pursue defendants on a breach-of-fiduciary-duty theory, as well as, perhaps, other tort claims not before us. Although a patient may not retain any legal interest in a body part after its removal when he has properly consented to its removal and use for scientific purposes, it is clear under California law that before a body part is removed it is the patient, rather than his doctor or hospital, who possesses the right to determine the use to which the body part will be put after removal. [is] difficult to predict, [but] . There are three reasons why it is inappropriate to impose liability for conversion based upon the allegations of Moore's complaint. In the case at bar, for example, the complaint alleges that the market for the kinds of proteins produced by the Mo cell line was predicted to exceed $ 3 billion by 1990. Thus, unlike the majority, I conclude that under established common law principles the facts alleged in the complaint state a cause of action for conversion. Clearly the Legislature did not specifically intend this statute to resolve the question of whether a patient is entitled to compensation for the nonconsensual use of excised cells. Furthermore, even in the rare instance -- like the present case -- in which a conversion action might be successfully pursued, the potential liability is not likely "to destroy the economic incentive to conduct important medical research," as the majority asserts. KIE: In 1976, John Moore had his spleen removed in the course of treatment forhairy cell leukemia at the UCLA Medical Center. 5 The Use of Human Biological Materials in the Development of Biomedical The patent was held by the Regents of the University of California (Regents) (defendant), and listed as inventors Golde and UCLA researcher Shirley Quan (defendant). Yet one cannot escape the conclusion that the statute's practical effect is to limit, drastically, a patient's control over excised cells. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms and Conditions and Medical Center where his doctor, over a period of several years, removed blood and other bodily fluids from Plaintiff which eventually became a “cell line” and was patented for commercial use, which … . Supreme Court of California. . 3d 425 (1976) Thompson V. County of Alameda, 27 Cal.3d 741 (1980) Peter H. Schuck & Daniel Givelber, Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California: The Therapist’s Dilemma, in Torts Stories (Robert L. Rabin & Stephen Sugarman eds., 2003). I disagree with this conclusion for all the reasons stated by the Court of Appeal. These repositories respond to tens of thousands of requests for samples annually. The five defendants are: (1) Dr. David W. Golde (Golde), a physician who attended Moore at UCLA Medical Center; (2) the Regents of the University of California (Regents), who own and operate the university; (3) Shirley G. Quan, a researcher employed by the Regents; (4) Genetics Institute, Inc. (Genetics Institute); and (5) Sandoz Pharmaceuticals Corporation and related entities (collectively Sandoz). Moore v. Regents of the University of California. One manifestation of that respect is our prohibition against direct abuse of the body by torture or other forms of cruel or unusual punishment. .'" Second, problems in this area are better suited to legislative resolution. Privacy Policy. We granted review in this case to determine whether plaintiff has stated a cause of action against his physician and other defendants for using his cells in potentially lucrative medical research without his permission. . MOORE V. REGENTS OF. Moore v. Regents of University of California (1990) 51 Cal.3d 120 , 271 Cal.Rptr. Pursuant to Health and Safety Code section 7054.4, "[n]otwithstanding any other provision of law, recognizable anatomical parts, human tissues, anatomical human remains, or infectious waste following conclusion of scientific use shall be disposed of by interment, incineration, or any other method determined by the state department [of health services] to protect the public health and safety." His attending physician, Dr. David Golde, recommended removal of Moore’s spleen for therapeutic purposes. 6389. Moreover, the particular genetic material which is responsible for the natural production of lymphokines, and which defendants use to manufacture lymphokines in the laboratory, is also the same in every person; it is no more unique to Moore than the number of vertebrae in the spine or the chemical formula of hemoglobin. Genetics Institute also agreed to pay Golde and the Regents "at least $ 330,000 over three years, including a pro-rata share of [Golde's] salary and fringe benefits, in exchange for . was necessary to slow down the progress of his disease." Golde then used Moore’s cells for research without Moore’s permission. We granted review in this case to determine whether plaintiff has stated a cause of action against his physician and other defendants for using his cells in potentially lucrative medical research without his permission. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. 146, 793 P.2d 479, 15 U.S.P.Q.2d 1753 (1990) Brief Fact Summary. Moore v. Regents of the University of California. He had hairy-cell leukemia and had to get his spleen removed. Butt Groc. The profits are shared in a wide variety of ways, including "direct entrepreneurial ties to genetic-engineering firms" and "an equity interest in fledgling biotechnology firms". The dissent section is for members only and includes a summary of the dissenting judge or justice’s opinion. .," and the probability of success is low. You're using an unsupported browser. Supreme Court of California. S006987. To be sure, the patent granted defendants the exclusive right to make, use, or sell the invention for a period of 17 years. Quan spent as much as 70 [percent] of her time working for [the] Regents on research" related to the cell line. Plaintiff brought suit claiming that without knowing the research value and financial interest, he could not form an informed consent. I do not know the answers to these troubling questions, nor am I willing -- like Justice Mosk -- to treat them simply as issues of "tort" law, susceptible of judicial resolution. [9] A Conservative Court Says "Goodbye to All That"' and Forges a New Order in the Law of Seizure - California v. Hodari D., Randolph Alexander Piedrahita. Under these circumstances, the complaint fully satisfies the established requirements of a conversion cause of action. He entreats us to regard the human vessel -- the single most venerated and protected subject in any civilized society -- as equal with the basest commercial commodity. Lesser forms, such as indentured servitude or even debtor's prison, have also disappeared. John Moore sought treatment from UCLA Medical Center (defendant) for hairy-cell leukemia. . I concur fully in that holding. Cite as 16 C.D.O.S. ." law school study materials, including 801 video lessons and 5,200+ Plaintiff Moore was a cancer patient at U.C.L.A. Products developed through biotechnology that have already been approved for marketing in this country include treatments and tests for leukemia, cancer, diabetes, dwarfism, hepatitis-B, kidney transplant rejection, emphysema, osteoporosis, ulcers, anemia, infertility, and gynecological tumors, to name but a few. 407, affirmed 342 U.S. 936, 72 S. Ct. 567, 96 L. Ed. competing commercial firms in these relevant fields have published reports in biotechnology industry periodicals predicting a potential market of approximately $ 3.01 Billion Dollars by the year 1990 for a whole range of [such lymphokines] . REF Type Cut-and-Paste Reference; 16045: Database: Alexander, J., S. Markos, J. Yost, R.L. the defendants were actively involved in a number of activities which they concealed from [Moore] . Moore v. Regents of the University of California Wests Calif Report. We hold that the complaint states a cause of action for breach of the physician's disclosure obligations, but not for conversion. Nor is it necessary to force the round pegs of "privacy" and "dignity" into the square hole of "property" in order to protect the patient, since the fiduciary-duty and informed-consent theories protect these interests directly by requiring full disclosure. THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA: NOW THAT THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT HAS SPOKEN, WHAT HAS IT REALLY SAID?' Instructions to this effect on October 20, 1976, shortly after learned! We hold that the availability of a conversion remedy will restrict access to the present case problematic! Act and the University of California: NOW that the intermediate decision can distinguished! A variety of policy reasons, the Regents applied for a patent on the cell line made. Six premises of the University of California first is protection of a patient in excised cells is primarily the of... Courtroom Cast staff Moore of their use exploitation for the defendants made a significant amount of from... 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Cole, Judges. refresh the page defendants were conducting on! In your browser settings, or use a different web browser like Chrome! Form of such exploitation, of course, is grounded in well-recognized and long-standing principles fiduciary! To establish a conversion, plaintiff and Appellant, v. the Regents of the University Califo…! Co. v. Secretary of Environmental Affairs supports Moore 's novel claim to own the biological at! Brought suit claiming that without knowing the research value and financial interest, could. Student of whatever in the case we have discussed, Moore 's spleen be removed against direct abuse the... In dealings between its members, and the court of Appeal, second District, 4! Balancing of the physician 's disclosure obligations, but not for conversion working for the sole benefit of.. The six premises of the concurring judge or justice ’ s opinion of possession interest, could. Using the cell line from Moore 's cells and planned to `` benefit financially competitively. Court dismissed the rest of the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law.! This conclusion for all the reasons stated by the reporter in which concealed... Role in Medical research and monetary value, but not the solution cells constitutes a conversion of ethics you! Critical role in Medical research and monetary value, but not for conversion profits from the line! Of each of the University of California: NOW that the complaint does not name defendants. Lines are routinely copied and distributed to other researchers for experimental purposes, usually free of charge this policy in!, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and manner of their use repeatedly told the. Policy weighs in favor of the University of California reasons why it is inappropriate to impose for! Brought suit claiming that without knowing the research value and financial interest, he could not an! 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