Reconsidering Genetic Antidiscrimination Legislation

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 26 (3):205-210 (1998)
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Abstract

Until approximately twenty years ago, advances in the study of human genetics had little influence on the practice of medicine. In the 1980s, this changed dramatically with the mapping of the altered genes that cause cystic fibrosis and Huntington disease. In just a few years, these discoveries led to DNA-based tests that enabled clinicians to determine whether prospective parents were carriers of CF or whether an individual carried the Huntington gene and, as a result, would almost certainly develop the disease.Observers interested in the social and economic implications of genetic technology realized that such genetic tests could be used by insurance companies to predict which insurance applicants were likely to become ill or even die from these diseases.

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