[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
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
'I'm dying anyway, one piece at a time' said Steve Fobister, who suffers from disabilities caused by mercury poisoning.
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
The group's takeover of farms in Qaraqosh, 30km from Mosul, has caused fear among residents, and a jump in food prices.
Protests and online activism in recent months have brought a resurgence of ethnic Oromo nationalism in Ethiopia.
Chemotherapy is big business, but some US doctors say it could be overused and are pushing for cheaper and better care.
join our mailing list