Genetic Information Law

@worldwise1 (14887)
United States
June 9, 2008 1:22pm CST
I recently discovered that the law to protect patients who have undergone genetic testing has been signed. It is called the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act or GINA. It is a good law because it will protect those who have a predisposition to certain genetic diseases from discrimination in the workplace and other areas where the information contained in our medical records could be used against us. This also would apply to health insurance. Now that I've gone over the basics I would be interested in knowing how effective you think this law will be in preventing discrimination along these lines. Will it really protect us if our records contain negative factors that might harm our chances of securing employment or getting insurance coverage?
6 responses
• Nigeria
10 Jun 08
worldwise1 dear, the intention of law is to prohibit, restrain, or to get an advantage carried out. I havn't heard about GINA but I think it is a laudable idea. Do u know that some albinoes are discriminated against and some establishments are known to have sacked their employees because they were sickle cell patients? well, strange things happen some times. Even here in Nigeria, though it is unrelated to GINA, a high court up-held the dismissal of an employee who challenged the dismissal as being wrongful, because he felt he was dismissed on account of his HIV status. Well, in Nigeria, we don't have that kind of law but I know that GINA is good to restrain discrimination.
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
10 Jun 08
GINA will be a good law, ebookyoung, only if it is used correctly and not abused. I do have a problem with anyone having access to private medical information that can be used against them except in cases where the public's safety is in jeopardy. This law is a good start but I feel it will need to be fine tuned sooner or later.
• Nigeria
10 Jun 08
I do agree with you wiseone that the law needs to be reviewed. As you know, the societies is dynamic so do the rules and regulations that govern them. I believe law is made to be destroyed so that it can be remodelled for the society to go forward. Thanks for your commentaries.
10 Jun 08
It should prevent discrimination of the information, however I think it would be more effective if the information was kept confidential.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Jun 08
Thats good. i've always been scared about the government learning too much about each individual and trying to take over. I'm alot like Hyde from That 70s Show. The corporations out to get ya... lolz
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
10 Jun 08
I agree, creative, that the information should be kept confidential in the first place.
@carolbee (16241)
• United States
10 Jun 08
Unfortunately I don't think any private matter is highly confidential no matter what law is in effect. There are ways to get around everything. Descrimination will always be there. It's a known fact that women in the workplace don't earn the same income men do, even with the same amount of education. I recently talked to the President of a firm who confirmed this theory. There are ways to access medical records also. I wouldn't know where to begin if I wanted to get into someone else's medical records but do think storing informaton on computers can be risky. A paper trail isn't any safer. This is just my view and am sure others out there will not agree with me.
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
10 Jun 08
Well I do agree with you, carolbee. It's sort of like once the information is out there there is no taking it back. And even if companies say they won't use it against you, they more than likely will.
@carolbee (16241)
• United States
10 Jun 08
Thanks for the br. I can tell you a story about personal information leaking out. I like to play Keno at a local casino. I wrote checks in order to have cash. The check cashing co. had an employee who stole all the personal, vital information including ss numbers and sold them to an outside source. Ofcourse the employee was fired but my personal stuff is still out there, along with a ton of other customers. It's major bs but nothing I could do about it. We changed account numbers at the bank but my ss number still went whereever! This is how secure our system is these days.
@theprogamer (10539)
• United States
10 Jun 08
I'd be skeptical of it, but its a decent piece of legislation from what I've been seeing. Again, skeptical, but that's due to the variables involved in it (health, possible exploitation on employment/insurance end, and no matter what laws are out discrimination is still possible and very real). I'll have to watch what the results over time.
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
10 Jun 08
I believe that at best, progamer, the law can be used as a stepping stone on which to build upon. Discrimination is very hard to prove in most cases.
@tinkerick (1256)
• United States
9 Jun 08
It sounds like a good law to me. There is such a thing as "Too Much Information". It's not right for a company or insurance companies to pick and choose based on pre-dispositioned conditions or test results. Using information like that can lead to MORE wrongful stereotypes which then can turn away perfectly capable people. Plus, if companies are allowed such access - that's getting TOO personal. We really have to start watching how much personal information we are really releasing these days. For the sake of security we've been allowing ourselves to become open books. WAY too Open! Good law!
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
10 Jun 08
I couldn't agree with you more, tinkerick. Our lives should not be an open book to anyone who should want information about us.
@Aurone (4758)
• United States
12 Jun 08
I don't know. If it makes them keep the records confidential then yes, it will eliminate discrimination. But if they let the companies see the information and then hope that they won't discriminate, well then that won't work. I mean look at the way insurance companies are now, I can't even get insurance because I am obese those companies are out of control. But I am glad they have thought about this and are taking the first steps into protecting our genetic privacy.