Groups seek limits on ‘genetic discrimination’

Advances in medical science are bringing us closer toward understanding the genetic underpinnings of disease, but a growing number of experts fear this progress could have serious consequences, allowing insurers and employers to use the information to deny coverage and benefits.
“We have no legislation against discrimination,” said Michael Hayden , Canada Research Chair in human genetics and molecular medicine at UBC.
Canada is the only G8 country that doesn’t have laws to protect citizens against aspects of genetic discrimination, according to Hayden, one of the world’s foremost Huntington’s disease researchers. He conducted a study published in the British Medical Journal in 2009 that found 30 per cent of those at risk for the disease reported discrimination in the form of rejection for insurance, premium increases or demands to undergo genetic testing. “I think it’s quite significant,” he said.

Globe and Mail, Mon Jan 2 2012, Page: L1, By: Carly Weeks