Genetic Testing and the Future of Disability Insurance: Thinking About Discrimination in the Genetic Age
Paul Steven Miller
University of Washington School of Law
The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics : A Journal of the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics. Vol. 35, No. 2, pp. 47-51, January 2007
The potential for genetic discrimination is no longer science fiction. As the cost of genetic testing decreases and the practice becomes more commonplace, Miller argues that genetic profiles should remain in the control of the individual and never be used to violate fundamental human rights. The misuse and misappropriation of science has a long and continued history, and the past lessons of eugenics have taught that those poised to profit from the profound and estimable benefits of the genetic revolution must be keenly aware of the myriad ethical and policy concerns that accompany this new scientific frontier. Though federal genetic discrimination legislation is pending, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission offers individuals protection against genetic employment discrimination under the “individuals regarded as having impairments” prong of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Additionally, thirty-four states have enacted laws that prohibit the use of genetic information in the workplace. Miller argues that these, and additional legal protections are essential so that scientific breakthroughs may be realized without the threat of societal abuse.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 6
Keywords: genetic testing, Americans with Disabilities Act, genetic profiling, genetic discrimination, bioethics, geneticsAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: October 24, 2009
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