Revisiting Genetic Discrimination Issues in 2010: Policy Options for Canada

GPS Policy Brief No. 2

13 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2010

See all articles by Trudo Lemmens

Trudo Lemmens

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Daryl Pullman

Memorial University of Newfoundland - Faculty of Medicine

Rebecca Rodal

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Date Written: June 15, 2010

Abstract

Since the advent of the Human Genome Project, concerns have been raised about the potential inappropriate collection, storage and use of genetic information, particularly in the insurance and employment sectors. As genetic testing technologies become more readily available and affordable, their predictive capacity more accurate, marketing strategies more sophisticated, and access to online genetic information more pervasive, the incentives for third parties to mine and exploit this information will increase. The Council of Europe’s Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, which explicitly prohibits genetic discrimination, prompted legislative initiatives in many countries. The U.S. has responded with state legislation and, federally, with the much-heralded but controversial Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) of 2008. GINA has created more recent pressure for a legislative response in Canada and has inspired the introduction of a federal private member’s bill on genetic discrimination in 2010. Given recent developments, it may be time for Canada to revisit this policy issue. This Policy Brief explores three possible options (other than status quo) for addressing potential issues of genetic discrimination: 1) strengthened use of existing human rights and privacy regimes; 2) a new regulatory framework for genetic testing; and 3) sector-specific solutions for insurance.

Keywords: Human Genome Project, genetic discrimination, GINA, genetic information, discrimination, equality, human rights, genetic testing, regulation of technology, insurance, employment

Suggested Citation

Lemmens, Trudo and Pullman, Daryl and Rodal, Rebecca, Revisiting Genetic Discrimination Issues in 2010: Policy Options for Canada (June 15, 2010). GPS Policy Brief No. 2. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1722368

Trudo Lemmens (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada

Daryl Pullman

Memorial University of Newfoundland - Faculty of Medicine ( email )

Faculty of Education
St. John's, Newfoundland A1B 3X5 A1C 5V3
Canada

Rebecca Rodal

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
239
Abstract Views
1,241
rank
127,172
PlumX Metrics