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The dystopia of Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake is based to a large degree on pessimism concerning unrestrained commercial use of biotechnology. In a way, Atwood is presenting a form of slippery slope argument about biotechnology, but more importantly about the approach to health care in the United States (especially as seen from Canada) in which health is treated as a for-profit industry rather than a right for all citizens. If health is simply for profit, she suggests, then creating diseases in order to make money curing them is a logical step. Similarly, it is only a short step from genetically improved animals to genetically modified humans. I think her argument, although obviously exaggerated, is fundamentally sound -- that access to medical care should be a right rather than something from which people profit.
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