Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Passes U.S. Senate

Date:
April 24, 2008
Source:
Genetics and Public Policy Center
Summary:
The U.S. Senate has passed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), approving by unanimous consent an amended version of H.R. 493, which passed the House April 25, 2007 by a vote of 420-3. The House is expected to take up the measure again quickly before sending it to President Bush to sign the measure into law.

The U.S. Senate has passed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), approving by unanimous consent an amended version of H.R. 493, which passed the House April 25, 2007 by a vote of 420-3. The House is expected to take up the measure again quickly before sending it to President Bush to sign the measure into law.

"After a very long wait, Americans can now be confident that their genetic information cannot be used by health insurers or employers in harmful or hurtful ways," says Kathy Hudson, director of the Genetics and Public Policy Center, established at Johns Hopkins University by The Pew Charitable Trusts. "Our challenge now is to make sure that doctors and patients are aware of these new protections so that fear of discrimination never again stands in the way of a decision to take a genetic test that could save a life."

The legislation, when signed, will fulfill the longstanding agreement among American citizens and politicians that protection from genetic discrimination should be clear and consistent, Hudson explains. Until now, individuals' genetic information has been protected only by a largely untested patchwork of state and federal regulations. Ninety-two percent of Americans are concerned that results of a genetic test could be used in ways that are harmful to the person.

Moreover, scientists can now in good conscience tell patients and research participants that their genetic information is protected against misuse by health insurers and employers. Linking gene variants to health outcomes often requires studies involving large numbers of people, but scientists report that potential subjects are deterred by the fear that their information could be used against them by employers or insurers. In a survey of more than 4000 people conducted earlier this year, for example, the Center found that when considering whether or not to participate in genetics research, 93 percent of respondents said it was important that it be “illegal for insurers or employers to get my information.”

In addition to impeding research that would help to bring about the much-heralded era of personalized medicine, the threat of discrimination affects individual patients who could benefit from genetic testing have sometimes foregone it out of concern over possible repercussions. When people opt not to be tested, they lose the opportunity to seek monitoring and preventive care to avoid conditions for which they are at higher risk. Passage of GINA means that Americans will no longer have to make the trade-off between genetic privacy and appropriate health care.

The Senate unanimously passed versions of GINA in 2003 and 2005, but in both years the bill stalled in committee in the House. Last year, however, the House passed the measure quickly and today, the Senate for a third time expressed its commitment to nondiscrimination.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Genetics and Public Policy Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Genetics and Public Policy Center. "Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Passes U.S. Senate." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080424173942.htm>.
Genetics and Public Policy Center. (2008, April 24). Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Passes U.S. Senate. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080424173942.htm
Genetics and Public Policy Center. "Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Passes U.S. Senate." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080424173942.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins