More on Genetic Privacy

Jane Black.  "Keeping Snoops Out of Your Genes." Business Week online. April 1 2004.

Genetic privacy may not be a headline grabber, but the House should make this bill a priority — despite the opposition of powerful insurance companies. By outlawing genetic discrimination, Congress would be taking a good first step in tackling what privacy advocates warn is one of the biggest medical-privacy challenges of the 21st century.

One of those advocates is professor George Annas. The chairman of Boston University’s Health Law, Bioethics & Human Rights Dept., Annas is a pioneer in the field of patients’ rights. Over the past 30 years, he has written or edited 12 books on health law, including the groundbreaking The Rights of Patients, published in 1975 and now in its third edition.

And in 1995, he drafted a report calling for a Genetic Privacy Act to regulate the collection, storage, and use of DNA.

The rest of the article is a Q and A between Jane Black and George Annas.  Here is one snippet from the interview (George Annas speaking):

"I think genetic discrimination is a potential problem. It’s not yet real because no employers and health-insurance companies that I know of are doing regular genetic screening. It’s just too expensive. And there’s no good data to prove that you can save as much as you spend by doing the test.  The real problems will come if your genetic information becomes public and every major group that makes decisions about you can use the information…The possibilities are endless."


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