[QODLink]
Archive
US law against genetic discrimination

The US Senate has unanimously passed a bill banning discrimination in employment or health insurance based on genetic testing.

Last Modified: 15 Oct 2003 11:55 GMT
Genetic information has the potential to improve or destroy lives

The US Senate has unanimously passed a bill banning discrimination in employment or health insurance based on genetic testing.

"Our new knowledge about our genetic blueprint has the potential to dramatically improve our health and the quality of our lives. It also has the potential to destroy lives," said Minority Leader Tom Daschle on the floor of the Senate in Washington, where the measure was approved by a vote of 95 to 0.

  

"Current laws are inadequate to protect Americans from genetic discrimination," he said. Americans are not being tested - not taking advantage of medical advances and not participating in genetic research - because of their fear of discrimination," he said.

 

Victory

  

The Senate's top Republican, Bill Frist, a physician, has said on the floor of the chamber that the bill aims to "protect the health ... of individuals in this country and at the same time protect them from discrimination."

  

The bill will outlaw the misuse of genetic information by forbidding health insurers from denying an applicant coverage on the basis of genetic test results.

  

It also forbids employers from using genetic information to discriminate in hiring based on such genetic information and sets privacy standards for access to and disclosure of genetic information.

  

"Passage of this bill ... is a victory for the American people," Daschle said. 

Source:
AFP
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.