US law against genetic discrimination

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

    Genetic information has the potential to improve or destroy lives

    "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


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Life after death row: The pastor praying for Nigeria's prisoners

    The Nigerian pastor adapting to life after death row

    Clinton Kanu spent 27 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, but life on the outside feels far from free.

    What it means to love a dead child

    What it means to love a dead child

    You must forget all you thought you knew about grief when the landscape of your life has been demolished.

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    Kenya banned FGM in 2011, but Europeans still bring their daughters to underground clinics there to be cut.