Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Passed

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act passed by a vote of 420-3 in the House of Representatives today. The act makes it illegal to deny someone health insurance or job opportunities based on genetic information.

The chief sponsor of the bill, Representative Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY) introduced a similar bill twelve years ago. There have been repeated instances in which employers have discriminated against people with family histories of sickle cell anemia, Huntington's disease, as well as various forms of cancer.

A poll conducted by the Genetics and Public Policy Center at Johns Hopkins indicates that people have a wide variety of concerns:

... individual patients who could benefit from genetic testing are in some cases foregoing it out of concern over possible repercussions. A 2004 study of 470 people with a family history of colorectal cancer showed that nearly half rated their level of concern about genetic discrimination as high. Those individuals with high levels of concern indicated that they would be significantly less likely to consider even meeting with a health care professional to discuss genetic testing, or to undergo testing.

The act also has the support of the White House; a statement issued on behalf of the President stated "Concern about unwarranted use of genetic information threatens the utilization of existing genetic tests as well as the ability to conduct further research."

The act makes clear that genetic discrimination is criminalized in the same way as other forms of discrimination. Also, the confidentiality of genetic information is covered by the same provisions that cover the rest of the medical record.

A variety of science fiction movies and books have dealt with this topic, visualizing the problems clearly. For example, in the 1997 film Gattaca, genetic standards for employment are strictly enforced; otherwise qualified individuals are refused employment solely on the basis of genetic information. See DNA Fingerprint Database For Workers Proposed for details.

Read the text of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act; via ABC News and an earlier post from Wired.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/26/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

Skin Electronics Can Show Electrocardiogram
'... the young men in the streets who applied polyimde OLED body film to their bared shoulders.' - Chen Qiufan, 2019.

Neurodevices For Consumers? Neuroethicists (And Philip K Dick) Say 'Caveat Emptor'
'They tried to use it today and it wouldn't work. No colors and no ceph patterns, neither one...' - Philip K. Dick, 1977.

BrainEx Restores Some Activity To Severed Pig Head
'... they placed the brain in a special solution, having all the properties of Nursing the brain cells.' - Edmond Hamilton, 1929.

Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.' - Philip K. Dick, 1977.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Nobe 3-Wheel Electric Vehicle Parking Like I, Robot
Spidercar, Spidercar, does whatever a spidercar does.

Michelin Self-Sealing Tires On Ford's Explorer
'...a seal of compressed plastifoam to save the air.'

Mushroom Eats Plastic, Saves Planet
Fungus Amongus, SaveUs!

Juggalo Face Paint Disrupts Facial Recognition
'... designed to foil facial recognition systems.'

Mojipic Smart Voice Vehicle Emojis
KITT, what's your response?

Unusual Twist On Woman Dates Robot
'My hearing, vision and awareness went along with that excellent imitation of a young Adonis...'

BrainNet Triple Telepathic Gaming Threat
'In the gloomy half-darkness the three idiots sat babbling.'

AVAS Noisemakers Required For EVs By EU
'...a sound tape to supply the noise of a soi-disant "[internal combustion]" engine...'

Pun Generation Via Neural Nets
'You said you wanted him to be able to distinguish between laugh-power in different gags...'

Blood Battery Robotic Fish
'With one fluid motion, it surged forward, plunged, and was gone.'

Lightyear One Solar-Powered Electric Car (Design By Heinlein)
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

'Agression Detectors' Don't Work When Spying On Students
'The professional agitators had also learned how to modulate their voices below the danger level...'

Mining Of Golden Asteroid Foretold In 1898 Science Fiction
'This must be a golden planet—this little asteroid.'

Miners! NASA Wants To License RASSOR Excavator
'The borers had been dismantled and packed away.'

Bee+ Robobee Now With Four Wings
'It was a tiny thing, scarcely more than an inch and a half in length...'

CNSILK Robotic Spider Builder
'We could certainly spin a web right through the Solar System, if we can think of a good use for one.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.