“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Monday, May 21, 2007

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination

It is called The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2007, and begins with the heading, "To prohibit discrimination on the basis of genetic information with respect to health insurance and employment." The full text of the bill is available here
You can also get other information regarding the bill here
The President apparently supports the bill as evidenced by the following statement
http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/legislative/sap/110-1/hr493sap-h.pdf A critical aspect of the statement says, "The Administration appreciates that the House Bill clarifies that the bill's protections cover unborn children."

As I have reviewed the bill, there are many aspects which are very encouraging. However, there is one aspect that is not explicitly stated in the bill which causes concern to me. That is, in searching the bill there is no mention of "prenatal diagnosis" or "unborn children" that I could see relative to genetic information and its effect particularly on insurance benefits.

The bill has passed the House and is now headed for the Senate. I found out about it through World magazine which had a brief mention in the "Making the rounds" section.

In his book "The future of the disabled in a liberal society" Hans Reinders raises the spectre of parents going ahead with the birth of a child who has been prenatally diagnosed as having some disability, and as a result being denied insurance benefits for that child. I wish that aspect of the use of genetic information in regards to insurance were spelled out more clearly in the bill. It would close the door on practices which would support the abortion of children with prenatally diagnosed disabilities.


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