Genetics Discrimination Term Paper

Pages: 2 (611 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Genetics

Genetic research has led to breakthroughs in genome sequencing, which can be used to detect otherwise unknown risk factors for disease. The technology can save lives and improve quality of lives by preventing problems before they arise. However, privacy laws do not protect the information collected by genetic researchers adequately enough. This article discusses what can and often does happen when third parties have unbridled access to a person's genetic records. Ironically, the third parties in this case are not insurance companies. As the author points out, insurance companies are allowed to discriminate against applicants with certain predispositions, family history, or preconditions. Insurers ask for and investigate family history sufficiently to make some assumptions about the cost of the individual's premiums. As the author points out, insurers also know that risk factors does not guarantee disease manifestation and that a host of environmental and other variables will come into play. Most importantly, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) expressly forbids group insurance providers from denying coverage based on genetic results. This provision does not, however, extend to individual providers.

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Furthermore, the problem in this case is not insurance companies but potential employers. Corporations with the wealth and potential to access a person's genetic profile can and have made hiring or termination decisions based on the person's genome. This constitutes an overt form of discrimination. Laws are currently only in place to protect employees of the federal government, but no laws prohibit the public sector from engaging in genetic discrimination.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Genetics Discrimination Assignment

The major ethical points described in this case include confidentiality, privacy, access to information, and discrimination. From the perspective of the private sector, however, spurious their points may be, genetic information helps a company make informed and educated human resources decisions. Hiring a person with known genetic markers for undesirable traits would be a… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Genetics Discrimination.  (2014, December 3).  Retrieved October 17, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/genetics-discrimination/5793457

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"Genetics Discrimination."  Essaytown.com.  December 3, 2014.  Accessed October 17, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/genetics-discrimination/5793457.