A Defense of Genetic Discrimination

- Hastings Center Report
Author/s: -Levin, Noah
Journal: Hastings Center Report
Year: 2013
Volume: 43
Issue: 4
Pages: 33-42

The United States’ Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 was sweeping legislation intended to protect the privacy of genetic information and prevent discrimination based on genetic factors in health insurance and employment. It protects the genetic privacy of individuals in these contexts and limits the likelihood that genetic discrimination will occur. However, in the case of employment, it does so at the cost of safety, both to the individuals it is meant to protect and to others. On occasion, adherence to the dictates of GINA could lead to serious and avoidable harm to many people. Odd as it may seem, then, there can be such a thing as justified genetic discrimination. There are times when knowledge of genetic factors and subsequent action overrides reasons against obtaining or using such information. Moreover, this knowledge can be obtained without violating one’s genetic privacyx.

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hast.193