Genes and the law
The House of Representatives passed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) of 2007 on Wednesday, April 25. GINA is expected to pass the Senate and be signed into law in the coming months.
Despite widespread, longstanding agreement among American citizens and politicians that protection from genetic discrimination should be clear and consistent, individuals’ genetic information has, to this point, been protected only by a largely untested patchwork of state and federal regulations. Ninety-two percent of Americans are concerned that results of a genetic test that tells a patient whether he or she is at increased risk for a disease like cancer could be used in ways that are harmful to the person, and most believe that employers and health insurers should not have access to this information.The threat of genetic discrimination has hindered both genetic research and clinical practice. Linking gene variants to health outcomes often requires studies involving large numbers of people, but scientists report that many potential subjects are deterred by the fear that their information could be used against them by employers or insurers.
GINA shows yet again that while the establishment downplays and even denies the fact of genetic predisposition on a wide variety of issues, it is unable to totally ignore the growing scientific refutation of the politically correct faith in the uniformity of all of mankind.