Comparative Law - Genetic Privacy - Icelandic Supreme Court Holds that Inclusion of an Individual’s Genetic Information in a National Database Infringes on the Privacy Interests of His Child

8 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2012  

Michelle N. Meyer

Geisinger Health System, Center for Translational Bioethics and Health Care Policy

Date Written: December 1, 2004

Abstract

This is a brief comment on the Iceland Supreme Court case of Guðmundsdóttir v. Iceland. In that case, the daughter of a deceased man whose genetic, ancestral and health information were scheduled to be included in a national database successfully argued that including her father's information infringed her own privacy, since information about her could be inferred from "his" genetic information. I suggest that in the U.S., at least, it may make more sense to think about inherently familial genetic information through the lens of property law, with its ability to recognize and balance competing property interests in the same object, rather than privacy law, which tends to be fairly individualistic.

Keywords: Genetics, health information, privacy, property

Suggested Citation

Meyer, Michelle N., Comparative Law - Genetic Privacy - Icelandic Supreme Court Holds that Inclusion of an Individual’s Genetic Information in a National Database Infringes on the Privacy Interests of His Child (December 1, 2004). Harvard Law Review, Vol. 118, p. 810, 2004; Harvard Public Law Working Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2106154

Michelle N. Meyer (Contact Author)

Geisinger Health System, Center for Translational Bioethics and Health Care Policy ( email )

100 North Academy Ave.
Danville, PA 17822-4910
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.michellenmeyer.com

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