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 July 30, 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 July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
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