Scott wrote: ↑July 4th, 2021, 7:54 pm
This topic is about the July 2021 Philosophy Book of the Month, Winning the War on Cancer.
Here is one of the many quotes from the book that I highlighted while reading, which was on page 161 of my copy of the book:
Sylvie Beljanski wrote:As long as the pharmaceutical companies' quest for innovation is solely driven by intellectual property rights, they will keep failing in the war on cancer.
Do you agree with this quote? If not, with which part of the author's arguments from that chapter do you disagree specifically?
To my ear, the use of the "failing" to describe cancer treatment, is the wrong approach. We all assume that an author of a book on a particular subject is well versed in the subject matter. Thus such wording makes me wonder about the background of the author, a lawyer by training.
Cancers are generally curable if caught early enough with conventional treatment. Thus as a general rule (with exceptions, of course) the types of cancers with bad reputations are those that are typically diagnosed later in advanced stages. Thus the problem isn't better treatments, it is better diagnostics.
If someone gets a cavity in their tooth, but shows up very late in the process, the tooth might not be able to be saved. Should we call that "failing" in cavity treatment? I don't. Perhaps the reason for the patient showing up late was financial, maybe they have a fear of dentists, maybe there was a pandemic and their dentist's office was shutdown. I agree that better dental insurance and outreach to the community to address the fear of dentists could get folks into the dentist earlier and more teeth could be "cured". Regardless, inventing a sharper drill bit isn't going to save a tooth that's too far gone.
"As usual... it depends."