Abstract: Alternative medicine has made its way to the forefront of medical innovation, changing the way both doctors and patients approach complex health issues. Patenting medical inventions promotes advancement by increasing the exchange of vital information. This crucial benefit to society is particularly important for patients suffering from chronic illnesses who are dissatisfied with conventional medicine. Though the patent system requires that patented inventions are “useful,” there is no guarantee that the product is effective or even safe to use. The medical field must grapple with this trade-off between the benefit of new treatments made easily available to people who desperately need relief, and the potential that expensive, ineffective, and unsafe products are placed in the market. This issue is brought to light for patients with Lyme Disease who have turned to the patented treatment, UVLrx. UVLrx is a therapeutic light system that delivers various wavelengths of ultraviolet light to a patient’s bloodstream, with the intent of killing bacteria and diseased cells. Some argue that this futuristic treatment has the potential to change a person’s life, while others contend that it is an expensive and risky waste of time.
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