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Prohibiting Genetic Discrimination

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Publication Date: May 2007

Publisher(s): Massachusetts Medical Society

Author(s): Kathy L. Hudson

Topic: Health (Medical research and technology)
Law and ethics (Health law)

Keywords: Genetic discrimination; Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

Type: Other

Coverage: United States


The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which would prohibit health insurers and employers from asking or requiring a person to take a genetic test and from using genetic information in setting insurance rates or making employment decisions, passed unanimously in the Senate in 2003 and again in 2005.

The bill remained stalled in the House of Representatives, however, apparently because the House leadership was sympathetic to the few employer and business groups that oppose the bill. This year, with its new Democratic majority in place, Congress has taken up the bill once again.

In New England Journal of Medicine, 356:20, May 17, 2007, p.2021-2023.