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Anti-Genetic Discrimination Bill Passes in US Senate

Genetic discrimination is one form of discrimination the US Senate can agree to disagree with. The Senate has unanimously passed a preemptive anti-discrimination bill, which will prevent employers, unions, and health insurance companies from discriminating using genetic information. Only patients and doctors will have access to tests that reveal predisposition to diseases.

Besides protecting citizens, scientists believe the bill could save lives. With the legal protection, people will more likely pursue genetic testing, and improve their chances of surviving hereditary illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases.

Health insurance companies, assured that their current practices would not be threatened, supported the bill, while the US Chamber of Commerce opposed it.

Is discrimination based on pre-existing health conditions, which is common practice today, that much different from discriminating based on a predisposition to a health condition? With the latest legal assurance, would you get your DNA tested to know which diseases you may face in the future?


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