Keeping the GINA in the Bottle: Assessing the Current Need for Genetic Non-Discrimination Legislation in Canada
Open Medicine, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 95-97, 2010
3 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2011
Date Written: April 12, 2010
Rapid advances in genetic science and technology have led to wide availability of genetic testing for a broad range of conditions. The background to the adoption of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) in the United States in May 2008 has important lessons for Canada. Canadians seem to have currently less anxiety about genetic discrimination than Americans because all Canadian residents enjoy access to basic health care. However, Canada’s health care system provides only limited coverage for pharmaceuticals and there has been much pressure to further privatize some aspects of health care. The authors point out that while Canadian discrimination law already provides some protection against genetic discrimination, which reduces the need for a GINA type statute, there will be increased need for solid protection against discrimination to the extent that publicly funded health care is undermined.
Keywords: GINA, genetic testing, discrimination, health care, insurance, equality, employment
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