04 May 2008

The US wants to ban genetic discrimination

The United States Senate has unanimously voted in favor of a draft law prohibiting employers and insurance companies from infringing on the rights of people based on their genetic information.

Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy called the document the first significant human rights law in the new century.

According to the bill, which has yet to be debated in the House of Representatives, only a doctor and a patient should have access to genetic information obtained through DNA analysis.

Insurance companies will be prohibited from raising insurance fees for people who are genetically predisposed to diseases such as cancer or diabetes.

At the same time, insurers will still be able to charge a higher fee from those who are already ill.

Employers will not be able to use genetic information to make decisions about hiring, promotion and dismissal of employees.

The adoption of the law is supported by doctors and scientists. According to them, now many people avoid DNA analysis, because they are afraid that employers and insurers may use the information obtained against them.

Supporters of the law add that it will help to remove fear and encourage more people to do a DNA test. And this will prevent many diseases or detect them at an early stage.

The law is opposed by business representatives. The US Chamber of Commerce claims that the adoption of the law will lead to a complication of legislation in the field of personal medical data protection, which means losses.

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